KEIGHLEY Cougars are this evening excited to announce the arrival of Robert Matamosi with the Fijian winger arriving at Cougar Park on a one-year deal from the West Wales Raiders.

Playing Rugby Union growing up in his native Fiji, Matamosi never played a game of Rugby League until experiencing the sport for the first time in 2016 after relocating to the United Kingdom to join the British Army as a logistics engineer.

Robert took to the 13-a-side code like a duck to water and a string of impressive performances in the Army side caught the eye of the Raiders who signed the winger last year.

Despite the struggles of West Wales on the field, Matamosi continued to impress and went viral on social media with a breath-taking 80 metre effort in defeat at Doncaster earlier this year before the season was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.

This became a catalyst for clubs racing to capture the 23-year-old up for the 2021 season, with the Cougars beating off interest from Championship clubs to secure Robert’s signature.

Head Coach Rhys Lovegrove said of his second new addition for next year: “I’m delighted to beat off stiff competition from the level above to secure Robert’s signature for next season.

“Not only has Robert got the talent, but more importantly he has the drive and ambition to become the best Rugby League player he can be both and off the field.

“I like to think outside of the box with my recruitment process and there are talented players at expansion clubs that some of the traditional heartland clubs tend to not pay attention too.

“In the action we saw before lockdown, Dalton proved that and I’m hoping Robert will do the same once we return to action in 2021.”

Chairman Mick O’Neill added: “Robert is a great capture for the club and is a very exciting prospect for us moving forward.

“Robert is an electric player with pace to burn on the wing and I hope that along with both Mo Agoro and Taylor Prell, he will go very well. We are excited by the competition for places this will now present in that position.

“Be a Fijian who serves in the British Army, Robert will also add a level of discipline and composure that will complement Rhys’ style of play and both the squad and environment we are building here at Cougar Park.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Robert on Saturday. It was good to see him and show him around Cougar Park and the town of Keighley.

“It is a very exciting time for the club both on and off the field, Robert was impressed by what he saw and especially enjoyed the coffee bar in the market!”

As a part of the deal that sees Matamosi arrive at Cougar Park, the winger will be transferred to the Catterick Garrison barracks in North Yorkshire in order to allow him to continue his service with the armed forces whilst playing for the club.

Robert said of his decision to join the club: “I’m looking forward to playing some good Rugby next season and getting to meet the lads.

“I’ll be playing alongside some great experienced players in the side and can’t wait to take to the field with them in front of the Cougars fans, who I’ve heard nothing but great things about and can’t wait to meet.

“I am very grateful to Rhys, Mick and the management of the club for giving me the opportunity to come up to the Rugby League heartlands and develop my skills whilst playing for a famous and established club.”

By Joshua Chapman