Maitua is a man to watch says Leigh boss Rowley

Reni Maitua of Featherstone in action against Leigh earlier this season
Reni Maitua of Featherstone in action against Leigh earlier this season
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PAUL Rowley says he is a big fan of Featherstone’s former NRL forward Reni Maitua.

The Leigh coach has identified the ex-Canterbury Bulldogs man as one of Rovers’ main threats ahead of Sunday’s game at the Sports Village.

Maitua, a friend of Leigh forward Fuifui Moimoi, has also played for Parramatta Eels and Cronulla Sharks. He represented Samoa at international level three times and played for Australia once.

Rowley says he has been impressed by Rovers’ recent form which included a win over Bradford at Odsal.

“We have enjoyed our tussles with them recently,” he said. “They have hit some form despite losing against Dewsbury on Sunday.

“I watched them against Bradford and they were very good with Reni Maitua causing some damage. He has been good for them and he is a player we will have to watch.

“Featherstone ran hard and tackled strong. They would have had a longer preparation than us but have obviously had the departure of Andy Hay this week. We will be ready and prepare well and it should be another good game.”

Speculation today has linked former Huddersfield boss Jon Sharp with the coach position at Rovers.

On Wednesday night Leigh beat Hunslet 72-6 just days after winning in Workington 50-12.

Rowley was able to rest several players including Jonathan Pownall, Gareth Hock, Tommy Goulden, Jake Emmitt, Greg Worthington and AndrewDixon. Leigh also have several players back in contention for a first team spot after injury including Matt Sarsfield, Martin Aspinwall and Sam Barlow.

Half-back Ben Reynolds is also pushing for a return and featured in the reserves’ win over Keighley on Thursday evening.