Mata’utia brothers ready to go head to head at Wembley

Brotheryl love will go out of the window for at least 80 minutes when Sione and Peter Mata’utia lock horns for the first time in the Rugby League showpiece of the season on Saturday - the Betfred Challenge Cup Final at Wembley - and fireworks are set to fly.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 9:59 am
Updated Monday, 12th July 2021, 10:02 am
Sione Mata’utia
Sione Mata’utia

It will be the first time back rower Sione, who joined St Helens ahead of the current season, and his Castleford-based elder brother, Peter, have faced each other on opposite sides of the fence in this country.

They were originally due to engage in battle at the Jungle last month until the Super League clash was called off following Covid-19 problems in the home camp.

But it will be a case of all systems go at the weekend with 25-year-old Sione - an Australian and Samoa International - declaring to the media: ''I don't know whether you have any footage of me and my brother playing against each other at home but it has always been pretty vicious!''

He added: ''When we were growing up, Peter was someone we all looked up to and he was the first guy to show us the way to play the sport.

''He always insisted that there's no friends on the field and I had that planted in my head from an early age.''

Sione jokingly added: ''I think I will consult head coach Kristian Woolf and see if I can play in the centre opposite my brother and see how it goes.''

Sione made his international debut for Australian in 2014 but has since, just like his 30-year-old elder brother, has also represented Samoa.

Whether injured or rested, Peter wasn't included in the Tigers' squad to play Salford Red Devils yesterday (Sunday) but he hopes to be back and part of a third set of brothers to play on opposite sides in a Challenge Cup Final.

The feat was first achieved in 1950 when Albert Naughton was a member of the Warrington side which defeated brother Johnny's Widnes outfit 19-0 at Wembley

Then in 2004, St Helens legend Paul Sculthorpe and his brother, Danny (Wigan Warriors) went eyeball-to-eyeball at the Millennium Stadium - the former lifting the trophy following a 32-16 victory.