WARRINGTON Wolves have signed Oliver Holmes and Peter Mata’utia from Castleford Tigers as incoming Head Coach Darryl Powell starts to prepare for next season.
But first, both players are keen to finish their Castleford careers in style with Powell, which includes a Wembley final against St Helens, before heading to the Halliwell Jones Stadium for the 2022 season.
Second-rower Holmes joins on a three-year deal until November 2024. The 28-year-old is a product of Castleford’s Academy system and has made over 200 appearances for his hometown club, scoring 39 Super League tries. He has represented both England and England Knights.
Mata’utia joins on a two-year contract until November 2023. The versatile back joined the Tigers from Leigh Centurions midway through the 2018 season having previously featured for Newcastle Knights and St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL. The 30-year-old has previously represented Samoa on the international stage.
The duo will join new head coach from 2022 Daryl Powell in making the switch to Warrington.
Commenting on his move, Holmes said: “Warrington is such a big club and I’m looking forward to the challenge next season. Having been at Cas my whole adult life it was a decision which took a lot of thought but I’m excited for the challenge ahead next year.
“I found out recently that my Grandad’s brother, Geoff Oakes, played for Warrington in the 1960s so to be following in my family’s footsteps is great too.
“Powelly [Daryl Powell] had spoken to me and said he was keen to take me over with him. I’ve been coached by him for the last seven years, we’ve got a great relationship and I think he’s a fantastic coach. I’ll be good to continue that partnership over at Warrington.
“I think this year has definitely been a big step in the right direction for me in terms of getting my body right and getting to know where the sweet spot is for myself. I feel like I’ve hit some great form this year. I’m hoping my prime years are still to come and I can keep improving.
“I’m fully focused now on finishing well for Cas in the best possible way. We’ve got the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley to come and having spent my whole career so far at Cas the club means a lot to me and I want to end my time here on a high before making the switch to Warrington.”
Mata’utia said: “I’m excited to have signed for Warrington for next year. It’s a big Super League club and it’s going to be a great challenge for me to bring my experience and have an impact on the team in 2022.
“The chance to continue working with Daryl was a big factor in the move. We’ve got a great relationship. I have huge respect for him. He allows me to be me and challenges me to be the best that I can be. I enjoy playing under him.
“The Halliwell Jones Stadium is similar to the Jungle with the fans being up close and making for a great atmosphere. When 2022 comes I’ll be excited to play there but for now my focus is on finishing the season strongly and enjoying the rest of the year with Cas.”
✍️ IT'S OFFICIAL!
— Warrington Wolves (@WarringtonRLFC) June 15, 2021