Edinburgh No8 Viliame Mata signs on again for next season

Fijian No8 joins Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie, Blair Kinghorn, Jaco van der Walt and Jamie Hodgson in re-committing to the club next season

Bill Mata is the latest current Edinburgh player to sign up again for next season. Image: ©Craig Watson
Bill Mata is the latest current Edinburgh player to sign up again for next season. Image: ©Craig Watson

EDINBURGH head coach Richard Cockerill has underlined his determination to keep together the core of his squad going into next season by re-signing Fijian No8 Viliame ‘Bill’ Mata – one of the highest rated and paid players at the club – for an unspecified period of time.

The 29-year-old, who was nominated for EPCR Player of the Year and named Guinness PRO14 Players’ Player of the Year after the 2019-19 season, was an Olympic Gold Medal winner with the Fiji 7s team in 2016.

Since arriving in Edinburgh four and a half years ago, he has made 81 appearances for the club.

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“I feel truly blessed and I thank God for another opportunity to extend our stay here in Edinburgh,” said Mata – who lives in the city with his wife, Wati, and two children, Vinny (6) and Bill Junior (2). “Edinburgh Rugby is heading to a good stage right now and think we’re building together well as a team.

“Since I started with Edinburgh Rugby, I’ve felt my rugby has progressed season after season, so staying with the club means I can hopefully progress even more and aim higher than where I am now.

“All the staff have been really helpful, especially the S&C who have created a personal programme for me to suit my recovery and physical needs.

“To be honest, in my second season, I wasn’t sure I’d last long in Edinburgh, maybe because of the difference in weather and being so far from home, but we feel truly blessed that we are still here and that my family now call Edinburgh ‘home’ as well.

“After the second year, Cockers came in and the S&C programme started to change. I felt like I had a bit more in me that I could show. Since then, I’ve been grabbing every opportunity. That’s why I’m still here now and staying for more.

“My daughter knows only two places, Fiji and Edinburgh, and it’s home for our son because he was born here. My wife feels that way too and we are very happy.

“The fans play a big part in that too. I’m grateful to them for sticking with the team now and, with me extending my contract, hopefully I can produce more for the team and make them even happier in the seasons to come.”

Mata joins fellow back-row internationalists Hamish Watson and Jamie Ritchie, plus Scotland fellow star Blair Kinghorn and Jaco van der Walt, in re-committing to the club in recent weeks.

“We’re delighted to be able to extend Bill’s contract,” he said. “He’s a player of undeniable talent and brings a real x-factor to the side.

“He’s a devastating, powerful runner in broken field and from the back of the scrum and has the passing and offloading skills in and before the tackle to bring players around him into the game from nowhere.

“He has worked exceptionally hard over his career to develop those soft skills which complement a lot of the excellent and more understated work he gets through in a game.

“The physical side of his game has come on a great deal in his time here thanks to near personal care from our S&C team. He’s had a huge amount of support in that area and we’ve reaped the benefits of his commitment to new training and nutrition regimes through his performances on the park.

“We take in pride in our care for players and I think that has played a big part in keeping him here.”

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About David Barnes 3956 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. I think it’s time Ali price moved along the M8. He is stagnating at Glasgow and Edinburgh have more need of him than Glasgow

  2. Great news – now we need a really good attacking 9. Glasgow have 3 – time for a move up the M80?

  3. No mass exodus due to coronavirus that so many of the rabble here claimed would happen. SRU are doing overall a good job and 2021 has been very positive so far from them.

    I find it so funny the usual lot have been quiet in recent weeks instead of praising the SRU on good signings etc. Only like to moan about contract lengths as that is all they have left. (Not you btw Dom Ward i think you have been very positive in recent times)

    Let the pros do their jobs.

  4. It’s coming to the point where the only reason not to let the pros do their jobs is because I can only get so erect.

    Excellent news.

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