Utai remains a Bulldog

Leading Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Utai has signed for a further two years with the Bulldogs.

The stocky winger has not played in a losing side since making his first grade debut in round four of the Telstra Premiership against South Sydney.

With his powerful running style Utai has scored nine tries this season and Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes says Utai has become an integral part of the side.

"Matt worked hard during the off-season, we rewarded him with a chance in first grade and he has certainly exceeded our expectations. I don't think he's played a bad game in first grade," Folkes said. "We knew he could play well in bits and pieces but he has surprised us with his consistency this season and with a bit more first grade experience we think he can become even more powerful."

Despite being sought after by several clubs Utai, who has declared himself available for selection in the New Zealand side, says his friendships and the strength of the club prompted him to stay with the Bulldogs.

"They're a good bunch of blokes here and I get along well with them. We've done well this season and with most of the boys here for the next couple of years I think we've got a pretty good future."

The Bulldogs have a rest day today however Utai will be available to the media at Belmore Sports Ground at 1.45pm before commencing physio at 2.00pm.

For any further information please contact Media Manager Polly McCardell on 02 9789 2922 or 0407 908 746.

Media Manager Bulldogs Rugby League West Sydney Razorbacks Basketball phone: (02) 9789 2922 mobile: 0407 908 746 fax: (02) 9718 8012