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Rabbitohs forward Keaon Koloamatangi.

Souths forward Keaon Koloamatangi says he is hopeful of getting a chance to stake his claim as a starting player on an edge for Wayne Bennett this year.

With the retirement of Ethan Lowe and departure of Bayley Sironen, the Bunnies are looking for a full-time edge partner for Jaydn Su'A after lock Cam Murray was forced to deputise in the role at times last year.

Koloamatangi himself had a breakout year as a middle forward off the bench in 2020, frequently charging for over 100 metres in 20 minutes or under of game time.

But the Mascot junior has always preferred the edge and is aiming to grab that spot this year.

"Yeah edge was my position growing up," Koloamatangi told NRL.com.

"I played middle a little bit in my 20s and obviously last year when I debuted but I feel most comfortable on the edge. I feel like I'm more effective there. I felt good out there, my lungs were all right, I felt like I could have played the whole game. I'm looking forward to the year."

Koloamatangi's performance in the Charity Shield supports that assessment, with a tireless effort on the right edge that was as reliable in defence as it was dangerous in attack, including a second-half try. 

Koloamatangi breaks through on the right edge

His edge partner, ex-Dragon Jacob Host, also had a good game on the left edge to leave Bennett with a tough decision to make.

Bennett obviously wanted a good look at Koloamatangi, leaving him on for the second half after almost all the main NRL squad was rested.

"It was just for a bit of match fitness; it was good to get a good blow out," Koloamatangi added.

"Obviously I want to grab that starting spot but at the end of the day it's up to Wayne.

"Obviously Hosty had a great game too so if he gets it or I get it, we're both pushing for it and both making each other better. Whoever gets it deserves it and we'll keep working together."

Rabbitohs in 2021

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