Reni Maitua (born 11 June 1982 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the National Rugby League (NRL). 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, lock forward, centre and he can also play five-eighth.
Reni Maitua attended Daceyville Public School.Reni 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 comes from a Samoan background.
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.
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.
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.
In October 2013, Reni was a part of the Samoan team that participated in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. He made his debut 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
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).
- City Origin
- Australia: Prime Ministers XIII
- Australia: 2006 Tri Nations Squad
- Samoa: 2013 Rugby League World Cup squad