Eels' tower of strength: Manu Ma'u

It's been a week to remember for Manu Ma'u.

On Sunday night the powerhouse backrower was named man of the match in his NRL debut against the New Zealand Warriors.

On Tuesday he signed a contract extension with the Eels that will see him in the blue-and-gold until the end of the 2015 season.

Ma'u, who spent three years in a New Zealand prison after being convicted for his role in a vicious gang brawl in 2007, was a tower of strength in the 36-16 victory over the Warriors.

He made 188 metres, seven tackle breaks and two line breaks and formed part of a dangerous left edge with Willie Tonga and Semi Radradra.

"I feel good — it's good to have my future secured here; the club had faith in me and I want to give back to them," he said.

"The boys made it easy for me and made me feel welcome — the boys, I love them."

Born and raised in Auckland, Ma'u and his young family moved to Australia in 2013.

The 25-year-old spent the back end of last year playing for Wentworthville before joining the NRL squad for the 2014 pre-season.

After a rollercoaster journey, his NRL debut was an experience he will never forget.

"I couldn't believe it. It was a dream come true to play NRL and finally pull on the blue-and-gold jersey," he said.

Eels coach Brad Arthur was pleased Ma'u had committed to the club.

"Just like the team Manu is looking to work hard, compete and improve with every game," Arthur said.

"He's been extremely committed this pre-season and I look forward to continuing to work with him into the future."

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