Souths young gun gets surprise NSW call-up

South Sydney back-rower Keaon Koloamatangi has been rushed into Brad Fittler’s extended NSW Blues squad as a late addition ahead of next week’s State of Origin opener in Townsville.

The 23-year-old forward, who has been through the NSW pathways system, joined the Blues squad last night at their base in Coogee.

With a bye scheduled for the Rabbitohs this weekend, it’s allowed the barnstorming forward to slot straight into the squad, to shadow Fittler’s expected first-string line-up without missing any NRL action.

Koloamatangi’s play-style will provide Fittler with adequate cover for the likes of Payne Haas who is carrying a knee injury and Cameron Murray who only has 48-minutes of football under his belt since returning from injury in round 12.

Last week, Koloamatangi ran for 163 metres in a big win over Parramatta, while also making 38 tackles.

Koloamatangi has fast become a breakout star in 2021 under Wayne Bennett’s tutelage and is quickly making a name for himself as a versatile, line-breaking forward.

He made his first grade debut for the Rabbitohs during round 4 of the 2020 NRL season, and is a South Sydney junior from the same club as Murray.

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