South Sydney Rabbitohs forward Keaon Koloamatangi has reminisced on his relationship with NFL Philadelphia Eagles star Jordan Mailata.
In an exclusive interview with Zero Tackle, the Rabbitohs forward revealed exactly what it was like playing rugby league alongside Mailata.
Koloamatangi also went into detail about the relationship they have with one another and divulged a hilarious story of the 2023 Super Bowl offensive tackle.
Hailing from Bankstown, New South Wales, Jordan Mailata grew up playing rugby league before gaining the attention of NFL executives. Since then he has become one of the most prominent Australians in NFL history.
Although his NFL career wouldn't get underway until 2018, Mailata nearly made it into the NRL, having been a part of the South Sydney Rabbitohs Under 20s team.
"I played with him. I remember when he was like 160-170 kilos. We had an orientation and I walked in, I was like this guy's freaking massive. How's he gonna play?" Koloamatangi said of his ex-teammate.
"But then he worked his ass off and I think he got to 6% body fat which was the best in our (Under) 20s team.
"He was killing on the field and he's probably a bit too big to play NRL.
"It's pretty hard to play being that big and for him to play and find a sport in NRL in the right position that he should be playing it's a massive credit to him."
Whilst Mailata grew up in the suburb of Bankstown, Koloamatangi grew up not far from him in Burwood. With similar upbringings, the Souths forward got on very well with Mailata.
"He comes from humble beginnings playing for the Bankstown Bulls and to be playing in (the) Super Bowl, like the biggest match in the world, it's crazy," the Souths forward added.
Koloamatangi then went on to describe a funny story of the pair during pre-season camp when they were both part of the Rabbitohs Under 20s team.
"We had an army camp in twenties [Under 20s] and he stayed at my house. One night before the camp I remember he was sleeping next to me and I remember he pulled out his iPad but his hands were so big it looked like an iPhone," he revealed.
"I was like this guy's a giant and remember when he was lying on my bed and my bed was tilted, I was like freaking hell.
"He's one of the best folks I've met. He's very humble and he's very nice. He's a big softie but you know when he is on the field he gets angry and puts his best foot forward."