|Full name||Reni Maitua Fuimaono|
11 June 1982 |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||100 kg (15 st 10 lb)|
|Position||Lock, Five-eighth, Second-row, Centre, Hooker, Halfback|
As of 20 September 2015
Reni Maitua (born 11 June 1982) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer with the Leigh Centurions in the English Championship. An Australian and Samoan International representative player, he previously played for the Bulldogs RLFC, with whom he won the 2004 premiership. Maitua's position over time has varied between utility forward, backrow, loose forward, centre and he can also play half-back.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Rugby league career
- 3 Controversy
- 4 Depression
- 5 References
- 6 External links
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Reni Maitua was born in Sydney, New South Wales. He attended Daceyville Public School. Maitua started playing rugby league as a youngster from the encouragement of his parents, playing for both the Coogee Randwick Wombats and Kensington United as well as brief stints at La Perouse United and the Maroubra Lions. Maitua then played for South Sydney Juniors which form part of the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Maitua is the son of a Samoan father and an Australian mother.
Rugby league career
2002-2008: Signing with the Bulldogs
Maitua signed with Sydney's Bulldogs club in 2002 but did not make his National Rugby League début until Round 1 of the 2004 NRL season against the Parramatta Eels on 13 March. Maitua played for the Bulldogs' from the interchange bench in their 2004 NRL grand final victory over cross-town rivals, the Sydney Roosters. As 2004 NRL premiers, the Bulldogs faced Super League IX champions, the Leeds Rhinos in the 2005 World Club Challenge. Maitua played at second-row forward in the Bulldogs' 32-39 loss. In season 2005, Maitua had an up and down season, suffering an ankle injury in the trial game against South Sydney Rabbitohs missing up to six games. His return showed he was in good form and was then named in the City Origin squad. But during that game he also suffered another ankle injury which made him sit on the sidelines for nearly half the competition. Maitua had been selected in the Prime Minister's XIII side to take on Papua New Guinea national rugby league team.
On 27 April 2006, it was revealed that Maitua had been charged with drink driving. The Bulldogs fined Maitua $15,000 over the incident as well as dropping him to Premier League for one week. Maitua was also required to attend an alcohol awareness program and to participate in a community service program. He was also needed to appear in Sutherland Local Court on 18 May where a plea of guilty was entered on his behalf. He will be required to make a personal appearance for sentencing on 3 August. In the meantime, his licence is suspended and the court was told that Maitua will complete a traffic offenders education program before his sentencing. But his sentencing was postponed till 17 August because complications arose as Reni's lawyer advised him not to attend the court appearance on 3 August. Though he appeared at his second court appearance for the sentencing the judge ruled that his licence was to be suspended for 18 months and a fine of $2800.
Maitua had been named in the Australian Rugby League side for the Tri Nations series for the first time in his career after a knee injury ruled Brisbane forward Tonie Carroll out of the upcoming Tri-Nations tournament. His short international career came to a grinding halt after suffering a distal syndesmosis injury to his ankle in the closing stages of the 30–18 win over New Zealand at Mt Smart Stadium.
2009: Move to Cronulla
On 15 June 2009, Maitua was suspended for 2 years for testing positive to a banned substance. He signed with the Parramatta Eels on return from suspension for the 2011 NRL season.
2011-2013: Return to NRL and move to Parramatta
Reni Maitua signed with Parramatta in 2011 but was unable to play until his ban ended in May. Due to his good form, inspirational leadership and a new outlook on life, he was made co-captain of the Parramatta club alongside Jarryd Hayne and Tim Mannah in 2013. In June 2013, Maitua was one of 12 Parramatta players that were told that their futures at the club were uncertain by coach, Ricky Stuart. Hasler has confirmed Tooty will add depth to the Bulldogs in 2014. He will bring experience to the Bulldogs side. At the end of his time with Parramatta Maitua played 53 games and scored 6 tries. He was also a member of the 2012 & 2013 sides which collected the wooden spoon.
In October 2013, Reni was a part of the Samoan team that participated in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. He made his début in the Samoans' impressive display against the Kiwis. This match however would be his only match of the Tournament, as injury forced him to pull out from the remaining games in the Tournament.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 2014- : Return to the Bulldogs
In November 2013 Maitua was charged assault after allegedly punching a taxi driver’s arm, he later wrote an apology on Twitter and pleaded not guilty. After spending first 8 Rounds of Rugby League in the NSW Cup for the Bulldogs. Maitua was selected to play for Samoa in the 3 May 2014 Pacific Rugby League International against Fiji. Maitua played at five-eighth in the 32-16 win at Penrith Stadium. Maitua played his first match for the Bulldogs in 6 years in Round 11 against the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium off the bench in the 32-12 loss. Maitua finished the Bulldogs 2014 season with him playing 13 matches and scoring 1 try (4p).
On 7 October 2014, Maitua was selected in the Samoan 24-man squad for the 2014 Four Nations series. Maitua only played 1 of the 4 games, Samoa did not select him until the 4th and final game because of Maitua's involvement in a nightclub brawl in Brisbane alongside two other Samoan players, one day before kicking off the Four Nations series.
- City Origin
- Australia: Prime Minister's XIII
- Australia: 2006 Tri Nations Squad
- Samoa: 2013 Rugby League World Cup squad, 2014 Pacific Rugby League International team, 2014 Four Nations squad
In 2006, Reni Maitua was convicted of drink driving after he blew 0.165 in a random breath test in Cronulla, while on P-plates. A reading of 0.165 is more than three times the legal limit for a fully licensed driver, but the limit for P-platers is zero. In December 2008, Maitua's contract with the Bulldogs was terminated by the club after he failed to attend training. He is also a known member of the Bra Boys.
On 20 May 2009, Maitua tested positive to a banned drug and was handed a provisional suspension. On 15 June 2009, it was announced that Maitua would be suspended for 2 years following the positive test of the second sample.
In late 2013 it was revealed that Maitua had been suffering from severe depression. In mid 2013, Maitua suffered a breakdown after a game in Brisbane, and days later attempted suicide. Maitua's best friend Willie Tonga was awake at 1:00am when he received a call from Maitua's sister, who had received a text message which scared her greatly. Tonga chose to drive to Maitua's unit, and found Maitua attempting to take his own life. Tonga believes that had he even arrived 5 seconds later, Maitua would not have survived. Maitua and Tonga told their story on the NRL Footy Show in June 2014 as an attempt to help remove the stigma around mental illness in league.
- "Sharks star Reni Maitua accepts two-year ban for positive drug test". 15 June 2009.
- The Age newspaper, 18 May 2006. "Bulldogs star pleads guilty to drink-driving"
- "Maitua fails to show". Television New Zealand. 11 August 2006. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- The Australian newspaper, 8 October 2006. "Maitua given fatherly advice"
- Daily Telegraph Online, 3 December 2008. "Bulldogs sack absent star"
- "Troubled tearaway Reni Maitua spent career in spotlight". 21 May 2009.
- "Reni Maitua tests positive to drugs". 20 May 2009.