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Keaon Koloamatangi hopes his versatility can help him secure a Blues jersey for this year’s State of Origin after putting his hand up to help the Rabbitohs overcome a middle forward crisis.

Hame Sele is due to return this weekend, but with Jai Arrow, Tevita Tatola, Shaquai Mitchell, Siliva Havili and Liam Knight also sidlelined, Koloamatangi has shifted from an edge and played 78 minutes at prop in the 13-12 defeat of Manly.

 Koloamatangi also played hooker for Tonga during last year’s World Cup, and after being a member of the extended NSW squad last season the Mascot junior revealed he has now set his sights on Origin.

“That is my next goal – to play Origin,” Koloamatangi said. “I would love to do that and there is a bit of competition in my position.

Koloamatangi is hoping his versatility will earn him an Origin call up
Koloamatangi is hoping his versatility will earn him an Origin call up ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

“I think playing multiple positions is an advantage because you can cover a lot more. I feel more comfortable on the edge, but I don’t mind where I play, to be honest.

“I played hooker at the World Cup so I am pretty versatile, and wherever the coach wants me to do I will do.”

With Manly forward Haumolo Olakau'atu being touted for a place in this year’s NSW Origin squad, Koloamatangi said they were keen to play together.

Olakau'atu takes flight

“Obviously, Haumole is a gun and it would be pretty cool if me and him were there together,” he said. “We played together for Tonga and we are good mates.

“There is a bit of banter, but we haven’t really talked about it. Haumole is a beast and we both have different playing styles, but it would be good to see one of us get in there. I know we will both do our best and let our football do the talking.”

The 24-year-old is expected to again play in the middle against the Storm on Friday after answering an SOS call from coach Jason Demetriou in spectacular fashion as the Rabbitohs overcame Manly.

Koloamatangi ran 189 metres – the most by any forward on either side – in 19 carries of the ball and also made 40 tackles in a 78-minute stint.  

“JD just came to me last week, and with Junior out with his knee, and also Shaq, I was probably the next most experienced middle, if you can say that,” he said.

Koloamatangi stars for Tonga

“Early in my career I played middle so it was pretty easy for me, I just slotted in there. I would do anything for the boys so if the boys want me to do something and the coach wants me to do something … as long as I’m playing I am happy.

“When I first started I was probably playing 30 minutes max - 15 minutes either side of half-time – but my fitness is feeling good so I am heading into the game feeling a lot better and not thinking about how tired I am and just doing the next job for the boys.

“I am not the best trainer, but I love playing, I just get a big adrenalin rush and I don’t get tired that much. I just keep pushing.”

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