|Name Ben Matulino|
Weight 107 kg
Height 1.93 m
|Nationality New Zealand|
Role Rugby Player
Career start 2008
|Education St. Bernard's College, Lower Hutt|
Similar People Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Shaun Johnson, Tuimoala Lolohea, Thomas Leuluai
Ben Matulino-"West Tigers Hard Hitter"
Ben Andrew Matulino (born 3 January 1989) is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer who currently plays for the Wests Tigers of the National Rugby League. A New Zealand national representative front-row forward, he played his entire NRL career with the Warriors until 2018 where he will link up with the Wests Tigers. Matulino is the first NRL player that graduated from the NYC to play 150 NRL career matches.
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Matulino is of Samoan descent. Growing up in Lower Hutt, he was educated at St Bernard's College, playing 1st XV rugby union for the College. Matulino decided to convert to rugby league due to lack of game time in union. He was named in the squad to attend the 2005 New Zealand under-16 high performance camp. Matulino won the College Sport Wellington Rugby League player of the year in 2006. Also that year he made the Junior Kiwis, and in 2007 he played for the New Zealand under 18s. Matulino played for Te Aroha Eels before making the Wellington Orcas squad for the Bartercard Cup.
Matulino signed with the Newcastle Knights before changing his mind as he wished to stay in New Zealand, and was signed by the New Zealand Warriors soon after. He started the season playing for the Junior Warriors in the Toyota Cup. Matulino made his NRL debut in Round 14 against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Remondis Stadium off the interchange bench in the 24–8 loss. In Round 22 against the Brisbane Broncos, Matulino scored his first career try in the 16–12 win at Mt Smart Stadium. In August, he was named in both the Samoan and New Zealand training squads for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup but was not selected in either final 24-man squad. Matulino was named in the Toyota Cup Under 20 Team of the Year alongside teammate Russell Packer. He finished his Toyota Cup career with thirteen appearances and two tries. Matulino played in 15 matches and scored a try in his debut year in the NRL.
Matulino finished the 2009 NRL season with him playing in 18 matches for the Warriors. Matulino was named in the New Zealand Kiwis 2009 Four Nations squad and made his debut against France on 1 November 2009 in the Kiwis 62–12 shellacking win at Stade Ernest Wallon in Toulouse. Matulino scored his first New Zealand international try in the Kiwis 20–12 loss to England at Alfred McAlpine Stadium in Huddersfield. Matulino played in 2 matches of the series.
For the 2010 Anzac Test, Matulino was selected to play for New Zealand from the interchange bench in their 12–8 loss against Australia at AAMI Park. On 4 August 2010, Matulino extended his contract with the Warriors until 2013. Matulino finished the 2010 NRL season with him playing in all the Warriors' 25 matches and scoring 2 tries. Matulino was selected for the New Zealand squad for the 2010 Four Nations series. Matulino played off the interchange bench in Kiwis 16–12 win over Australia at Suncorp Stadium, making the Kiwis 2010 Four Nations champions.
For the 2011 Anzac Test, Matulino was selected to play for New Zealand from the interchange bench in the Kiwis 20–10 loss against Australia at Cbus Super Stadium. Matulino was selected to play for the Warriors on the interchange bench in the 2011 NRL Grand Final in which the Warriors were defeated 24–10 by the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. Matulino finished the 2011 NRL season with him playing in all of the Warriors' 28 matches and scoring 2 tries. In the post season, Matulino selected for the Kiwis squad for the 2011 Four Nations series, playing in 3 matches.
For the 2012 Anzac Test, Matulino was selected to play for New Zealand at prop in the Kiwis' 20–12 loss against Australia at Eden Park. In Round 15 against the Sharks at Remondis Stadium, Matulino played his 100th NRL career match in the Warriors 20–19 loss. On 28 June 2012, Matulino extended his contract his with the Warriors to the end of the 2015 season. Matulino finished the 2012 NRL season with him being named the Warriors Player of the Year with him playing in 22 matches and scoring 3 tries. In October 2012, Matulino was selected to play for New Zealand in the one off October test at 1300SMILES Stadium off the interchange bench in the Kiwis' 18–10 loss.
For the 2013 Anzac Test, Matulino was selected to play for New Zealand from the interchange bench in the Kiwis' 32–12 loss against Australia at Canberra Stadium. Matulino finished the 2013 NRL season with him playing in all of the Warriors' 24 matches and scoring a try. In the post season, Matulino was included in the New Zealand 2013 Rugby League World Cup squad, playing in 5 matches, including playing off the interchange bench in the Kiwis' 34–2 loss to Australia in the World Cup final at Old Trafford.
In Round 24 against the Sydney Roosters at Mt Smart Stadium, Matulino played his 150th match in the Warriors' 46–12 loss. Matulino is the first player who graduated from the NYC to play in 150 NRL matches. Matulino finished off the Warriors 2014 NRL season with him playing in 20 matches and scoring 4 tries. On 7 September, Matulino was selected for the New Zealand Kiwis 2014 Four Nations 24-man squad.
On 16 January 2015, Matulino was named in the Warriors' 2015 Auckland Nines squad. On 5 February, Matulino re-signed with the New Zealand Warriors on a 2-year contract to the end of the 2017 season. Matulino was selected for New Zealand in the 2015 Anzac Test against Australia at Suncorp Stadium, which the Kiwis won 26-12. Matulino finished the 2015 NRL season with him playing in 21 matches and scoring 2 tries for the Warriors. On 8 September 2015, Matulino was named in the New Zealand Kiwis' training squad. On 15 September 2015, Matulino was named as the New Zealand Warriors' Player of the Year for the second time in four years. On 8 October, Matulino was selected in the 23-man New Zealand squad to tour England. Matulino played in all 3 matches against England in the Kiwis 2-1 Baskerville Shield series loss.
On 29 January 2016, Matulino was selected in the Warriors' 2016 Auckland Nines squad.
Matulino signed with the Wests Tigers from 2018 on a three year deal.