17 June 2024

Matavesi's Saints Triumph

Written by Forces News

Sam Matavesi becomes first male serving military rugby player to win English Premiership.

Royal Navy rugby player Sam Matavesi's team Northampton Saints have claimed their first Premiership title since 2014 as they beat Bath 25 - 21 at Twickenham in front of a sell out crowd.

A stunning Premiership final, one that confirmed Northampton Saints as the best team in the country but also revealed Bath to be one of the most courageous.

Northampton’s all-court game, with a bolstered set-piece and ferocious defence, had seen them often cruise to victories in the final quarter of games this season. In the glorious sunshine at Twickenham, they had to fight for their lives against a Bath side that simply refused to wilt.

Matavesi, coming off the bench, is the first male serving military rugby player to achieve this feat since the English Premiership was launched in its current guise at the start of this century.

The huge win caps off a fantastic season for both Northampton and Matavesi – who has had an incredible last 12 months in the game including playing for Fiji at the World Cup in France last autumn.

The Navy hooker helped Fiji get to the quarter-finals stage against England, the furthest the South Pacific nation has been in the World Cup in 16 years.

Speaking to Forces News ahead of the Saints' game in the Gallagher English Premiership final, Matavesi said: "I just think it's clicked this year."

I think a lot of young boys are playing well, a lot of young boys are playing with freedom, and it seems like some of the older boys up front are coming to their prime as well and there's an awesome mix at the minute," he added.

Images by PPAUK