You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
There's two True Blues inspiring Koloamatangi

After being on the extended bench twice for the Westpac NSW Blues, South Sydney’s Keaon Koloamatangi finally gets to live a dream – to play like two of his True Blue heroes in Origin III next Wednesday (12 July).

Test players Willie Mason and Mark O’Meley played 23 Origin games between them from 2001-2008 and Koloamatangi most likely watched every one.

“Big Willie and ‘Shrek’ … I just loved them,” Koloamatangi told

“I used to watch them come off the back fence, with their big hits and bodies flying.

“It’s pretty crazy that I’m in their shoes now – I’m very grateful.

“I’m still in shock to be honest. Looking back as a kid watching it growing up and you never really think you might make it.

“So to be in this position I’m very thankful to the coaches and also to my friends and family around me – I wouldn’t be here without them … can’t wait to play.”

Test players Willie Mason (L)  and Mark O'Meley
Test players Willie Mason (L) and Mark O'Meley

Koloamatangi knows the type of bond formed between players who make an NRL Grand Final having been part of the Rabbitohs line-up in 2021 against the Penrith Panthers.

He expects the same kind of connection with the other 16 players at Sydney’s Accor Stadium next week.

He joins Newcastle’s Bradman Best as the two debutants for Game Three.

“You all have to be your best on game day and obviously you have to trust players inside and outside of you.

“First off you want them to trust you, so you build that bond over this week. That’s what camp is all about. I can’t wait to get to know everyone better.”

The 25-year-old is highly unpredictable for defenders with 11 off-loads in his 12 games for South Sydney in 2023. He also has five line breaks and five line-break assists.

He can play left or right edge but has no preference.

“I’m easy – just give me the ball,” he said.

His first Origin will be alongside Rabbitohs teammates Cameron Murray, Damien Cook and Cody Walker, who will be making his True Blue comeback (2019-2020).

“It’s so great to see him (Walker) because he’s been playing so well. It’s also great for our club because we’ll go back to Souths better players too,” Koloamatangi said.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Platinum Partner

Major Partners

View All Partners