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Tigers sign Matulino as Woods replacement

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/04/2017 Steve Zemek

Aaron Woods of the Tigers watches on before the round eight NRL match. © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Aaron Woods of the Tigers watches on before the round eight NRL match. The Wests Tigers have moved quickly to cover the loss of skipper Aaron Woods, signing Warriors prop Ben Matulino to a three-year NRL deal.

The Tigers on Tuesday announced they had inked a deal with the former New Zealand Test prop until the end of 2020, a contract reportedly worth $700,000 per season.

The joint venture is attempting to plug massive holes in their roster for 2018 with Woods, Mitchell Moses and James Tedesco set to depart at season's end.

The 28-year-old has been inconsistent over the last several seasons and last year was one of five players dropped from the New Zealand Test team for taking a cocktail of prescription drugs and energy drinks.

He was at one time considered one of the premier props in the game however his stocks have fallen in recent seasons and he has not represented his country since 2015.

Ben Matulino © Glenn Hunt/Getty Images Ben Matulino Tigers coach Nathan Cleary, who worked with Matulino during his time at the Warriors, said he had the potential to be one of the best big men in the game.

"Ben has proven himself as an elite front rower in both the NRL and international arena," Cleary said.

"We welcome Ben as an integral part of Wests Tigers' future."

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