St Helens have signed former Australia and Samoa international Sione Mata’utia from NRL side Newcastle Knights.
The 24-year-old has agreed a two-year contract with Saints, with an option for a third year.
Mata’utia was the youngest person ever to play for Australia when he won the first of his three caps aged 18 years and 129 days, and captained the Knights at the age of 20.
The versatile Australian can play at second row, loose forward or centre.
Mata’utia, who scored 31 tries in 124 NRL appearances is the younger brother of Castleford Tigers’ Peter Mata’utia and NRL players Chanel and Pat Mata’utia.
“I have been at the Knights since I was a junior so it was hard to leave, but it is an exciting move,” Mata’utia told the club website.
“I have heard nothing but good things about Saints from my brother and if I was moving to England it was definitely to Saints.
“I love the pressure of always trying to be the best and at the top is what excites me. People expect Saints to be at the top and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Saints head coach Kristian Woolf knows Mata’utia well having coached him when he was in charge of the Knights.
“He is a real good trainer and professional in regard to how he goes about his work,” Woolf said.
“He is a good player and we see him as a bloke who can come in and play in the forwards for us and give us some real speed around the ruck as he has a good skill set.”