NRL Rd 17 - Wests Tigers v Eels
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Justin Matamua of the Tigers is sent to the sin bin for his tackle on Mitchell Moses of the Eels during the round 17 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Parramatta Eels at Leichhardt Oval on July 09, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

The Wests Tigers are continuing to build their squad for 2023, announcing that highly-rated local product Justin Matamua has been added to the club's Top 30 playing roster to go with a contract extension.

A Campbelltown junior who made his NRL debut this year, Matamua signed a two-year deal in February 2022, which included a development deal for 2023.

Clearly the 19-year-old is impressing the club with his efforts to date, with the new deal moving him into the club's top tier immediately and also ensuring he'll remain with the Concord club until the end of 2025.

Matamua made his NRL debut this year, debuting in Round 17 against the Parramatta Eels at Leichhardt. He backed it up with another stint of the bench against the Panthers in Round 18, but that was all he saw of NRL action in 2022.

It's been a rapid rise for Matamua, who was in the club's under-17 ranks just a few years ago.

“Making my NRL debut was a dream come true, and being added to the top squad is another special moment,” Matamua said in a club release.

“Right now I'm just looking forward to next season, but it's great to know I'm here long term.”

Tim Sheens said Matamua's rise would also serve as an example to aspiring juniors about the opportunities that pathways can present.

“He has moved swiftly through our representative teams, playing Harold Matthews only a year or two ago,” Sheens said.

“It shows our development plans are working well. I look forward to coaching Justin over the next couple of years.”