Fijian sensation Viliame 'Bill' Mata cemented himself as one of World Rugby's most exciting superstars with a stellar 2018/19 campaign that saw him nominated for EPCR Player of the Year and named Guinness PRO14 Players' Player of the Year.
The Olympic Gold winning Fiji 7s back-row joined the club on an initial two-year deal in September 2016 following an impressive Sevens career.
The playmaker excelled at the Rio 2016 Games, where he scored a try in his side’s 43-7 victory over Team GB in the final. After switching codes from rugby league, Mata has represented current World Rugby Sevens Series champions Fiji at nine events on the circuit, scoring 55 points through 11 tries.
After making a return from injury during the 2017/18 season, Mata enjoyed a stellar campaign and signed a two-year extension to keep him at the club until 2020. The skillful number eight was ever present in Edinburgh’s back-row to begin the 2018/19 season and was impressive in the early stages of the capital side’s Heineken Champions Cup campaign.
Mata hit new heights when his spectacular offload in the historic Heineken Champions Cup away victory over RC Toulon in January 2019 became viral, cementing him as one of European rugby’s most exciting prospects.
Mata signed a further one-year extension that saw the Fijian remain in the capital until at least 2021, while his impressive form continued throughout the 2019-20 season as he helped drive the club to its first ever Guinness PRO14 Semi-Final against Ulster.
The Fijian No. 8 agreed terms to a new long-term deal with the club in January 2021, joining back-row duo Hamish Watson and Jamie Ritchie in committing his future to Edinburgh Rugby.
‘Big Bill’ made his 100th appearance for the club against Zebre Parma in 2022, becoming the first non-Scottish qualified player to become a club centurion.
Player number: 1227
Date of birth: 22/10/1991
Edinburgh Debut: 15/10/2016
Place of birth: Nakelo, Tailevu