You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Rabbitohs prop Keaon Koloamatangi.

He has the nickname "Big Mac Daddy" but don't expect Wayne Bennett to call promising forward Keaon Koloamatangi that ahead of his NRL debut against the Storm on Friday night.

Bennett confirmed the 22-year-old giant will be a late inclusion for the trip to AAMI Park in a reshuffle that will add more size to the side's forward pack following their loss to the Roosters.  

A Mascot Jets prodigy, Koloamatangi came through the junior systems with Cameron Murray, who is also expected to revert back to the middle of the paddock after playing on the left edge to start the season.

"His journey has been more different to Cam's with a few weight and attitude problems but he's been really good since I've been here for 12-18 months and has got himself in good shape," Bennett said on Thursday.

Murray back to the middle to meet Storm front

"He's got good skills and is quite a player. For him, it's just the start of a journey but it will take a long time until we see the best of him. [But] there's certainly a player in that body."

Bennett said Murray's return to his usual middle role will ease pressure on the side's forward pack, who lost Sam Burgess, George Burgess and John Sutton in the off-season.  

"I think at the moment it's the best thing for us as a team, he certainly handles the edge well and that sort of stuff but we probably need what he gives in the middle," he said.

Storm v Rabbitohs - Round 4

"The middles haven't been bad, they've been quite competent actually, but we had a lot of niggling injuries last week with them.

"He adds a bit more to us there and we need that right there."

Queensland representative Ethan Lowe is expected to replace Murray with Liam Knight joining Koloamatangi on the bench.

Bennett added James Roberts was at least another week away after re-joining the Rabbitohs camp late following a stint in rehabilitation.

"Looking good and being match fit doesn't necessarily go together," Bennett said.

"It's an indication he needs more time in his legs and more running than what he's done in the last two months. He'll certainly play next week."

The Rabbitohs will travel to Melbourne on Friday morning and face a Storm outfit who left coach Craig Bellamy "embarrassed" by their efforts against Canberra.

Bennett expected the Storm to respond to Bellamy's post-match comments.

"They've got a good structure down there, he's done a great job with that team and they play within that," Bennett said.

"They've lost players and are evolving, that's how a club goes when you've got a long-term coach.

"That's the way it evolves but you don't notice it as much because there's a lot of stability at the club.

"They've still got Cameron Smith who makes sure all his instructions get carried out on the field – a coach's dream."

Acknowledgement of Country

National 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.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners