Taia: Sia was a massive help in Saints decision

Zeb Taia in action for his former club Catalans Dragons
Zeb Taia in action for his former club Catalans Dragons
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Only 15 days after making his Saints’ debut, Zeb Taia will come face-to-face with his former European club this weekend.

The 32-year-old will be in coach Keiron Cunningham’s 19-man squad for the trip to the Catalans Dragons where he played 77 games and scored 36 tries between 2013 and 2015.

“It will be weird playing against the Dragons where I enjoyed so many good memories - but I am really looking forward to the challenge,” said the New South Wales-born blockbusting forward, who moved from the Gold Coasts Titans following a swap deal which led to Joe Greenwood heading Down Under a couple of weeks ago.

He added: “I suppose I will have the upper hand as I know what is coming but I’m sure my old team-mates won’t make it easy for me.”

His out-of-the- blue move to St Helens was triggered by the enthusiasm of Saints’ head coach and talks Down Under with several people, including former St Helens crowd favourite Sia Soliola.

“Sia was a really good help to me and said nothing but good stuff about the club and I was sold on the idea after speaking to Keiron on the telephone.

“It hadn’t been part of my plans to return to Super League after my spell in France and spending 2016 at the Titans.

“However, when the opportunity arose and Keiron was keen to sign me, I thought why not.

“I still have a couple more good years left in me and in that time I hope to be part of a trophy-winning team.”

Taia is also hoping to establish a lethal try scoring partnership with England international centre Mark Percival - and evidence of this was apparent at Hull when the Aussie fashioned a well worked touch down for his new colleague.

“Percy is a great player who needs early ball and I’m here to provide it but I can’t go away from what I do best and that’s taking on the line without overdoing things.”

He concluded: “It’s been good so far. The club has helped me to settle in and now my family has arrived things can only better on and off the field.

“I’m just building week by week now and will soon get into the swing of things.”