A word with a Warrior – Josh Matavesi

Every fortnight we go behind the scenes to bring you closer to the Warriors players.

This week, we speak to centre Josh Matavesi ahead of Friday’s clash with Sale Sharks as Warriors return to Aviva Premiership action.  

In his second year at the club, the Fijian international discusses Warriors, food, and life as a multi-talented sportsman.

Age:23
Warriors apps/pts: 31/15
Country: Fiji

Favourite food:Mashed potato, baked beans and smiley faces
Favourite film: Rush Hour 2
Favourite band: Lucky Dube or Boyzone

How’s life at Warriors?
It’s getting better. There’s a lot of positivity floating around and everyone is enthusiastic. It’s probably what we need at the moment. Results haven’t gone our way in the early parts of the season but performances have definitely been improving.

How are you finding life under the new coaching regime?
I like it. Working with Shane Howarth is really good. He gives players a chance to express themselves on the field. I have a good relationship with Dean Ryan. He is an honest person and I’m enjoying my rugby working with him.

Do you think the club is moving forward?
Definitely. It is certainly moving in the right direction. As a team we are learning every week. The support for the game last Friday was fantastic which shows that the fans have faith in us and we need to repay them.

How useful has the LV= Cup fortnight been?
The LV=Cup has definitely helped us. It’s given us a chance to get out there and have a go. It has given the whole squad some confidence and seeing it all pay off at Cardiff was important. We also did a lot of things right against Leicester.

You’ve played in France and England – what do you think the big differences are?
They’re quite similar but the French Top 14 lasts longer than the Premiership. I think it’s more of a forward-orientated game in England now, whereas in France it is more about the backs and tries being scored.

What are your ambitions with Fiji?
I want to get back in that team. It depends where I can fit in because if it is at 12 then I have Ravai Fatiaki going for a spot too. Also Seremaia Bai and Nemani Nadolo are competing for a place and they are big players. I feel comfortable when I play at fly-half for Fiji. There isn’t a lot of competition in that position. It’s probably the easiest position to play for a Fijian as you just have to feed the backs and tell the forwards where to go! I also have international goal-kicking experience from when I scored against England at Twickenham last year.

What have you been up to off the field?
I go back to Cornwall to see my family and I like surfing and playing basketball when I can. In Worcester, I live with Ravai and we love playing the PS3. We’ve just completed Call of Duty and I’ve got bored of Grand Theft Auto, so now we’re playing FIFA 14. Rav is always Portugal and I’m always Spain. Usually I have to be a club team against him because he’s not that good! Other than that we Skype the family back home and there are a lot of drums and guitar-playing going on. We actually did a few recordings last night and we’ve been doing a bit of rapping!

You told us recently that Ravai makes a nice salad. What makes it so special?
It’s just got everything in it. Mine is actually better! We are big-eaters and recently we have completely changed our diet. We’re trying to cut down the carbs and we’re eating out of bowls at the minute to keep our portion controls down. Saying that, Ofa Fainga’anuku’s wife Christine cooks up the biggest and best feeds ever. It’s like walking into a buffet. There’s chicken, pork, beef, chop suey and fish – it’s amazing!

You and the boys like to play table tennis and pool in your spare time. Which player is the best?
That’s tough. I’d like to put myself in the top four because I’m a spin player. My biggest threat is Rav because he is such a defensive player but Max Stelling and Chris Pennell are quality. The problem is we don’t have a ping-pong ball at the moment so everyone has reverted to pool. George Porter and Jonny Arr have ranked me at number one in the seedings!