Justin Olam

From water boy to the best centre in the NRL: The making of the Storm’s ‘human brick’ Justin Olam

That’s not a usual topic of conversation in an interview with a rugby league player.

Then again Olam isn’t your conventional rugby league player.

If anything, Justin Olam shouldn’t even be a rugby league player.

Little, if anything at all, about Olam’s journey to this point has been conventional.

'System needs a change': Storm star calls for change as Justin Olam misses out on centre of the year honours

Olam, 27, has endured a standout season with Melbourne, who are one win away from back-to-back grand final appearances.

Just last month, rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns declared Olam "the best centre in the world" on the back of his form this year.

Cameron Smith on “The Best Centre In The Game” Justin Olam

Helping the Storm to reach their 19 game winning streak, Olam received 34 per cent of votes from the fans to claim the top spot ahead of Sydney's Joey Manu on 26 per cent.

In an interview on SEN 1170’s Breakfast with Vossy, Smith explained why it is such a great achievement for the Papua New Guinean.

“I’m extremely happy for him, he’s a very humble guy, very intelligent young fella,” said the former Storm captain.

“When he turned up he was a raw boned type of football player.

Olam applauds SP Sports Awards

The SP Sports Awards will be held tomorrow night at the Crown Hotel in Port Moresby. 

Olam is one of the three finalists named in the Sportsman Of The Year category apart from two other finalists, PNG Olympic weightlifter Morea Baru and Norman Vanua, PNG Cricket representative.

“It’s a great initiative set by SP Brewery in recognizing especially young Papua New Guinean athletes. It is my first time to be nominated for the awards and its great news for whoever that wins it,” Olam said.

Hundreds gather to watch game

It was the first time a son of Sinasina-Yongomugl scooped the Provan-Summons Trophy with the Melbourne Storm, and it was the first time his people gathered together to watch his historical match.

The name ‘Justin Olam’ reverberated throughout Papua New Guinea as the countdown began for the Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers clash on Sunday, the 25th of October.

Simbu Governor hails Olam

Dua described Olam as a “hero for Simbu”.

Speaking from the provincial capital of Simbu in Kundiawa, Governor Dua said Olam now joins the list of legends who hailed from the Sinasina-Yongomugl electorate, commonly abbreviated ‘SSY’.

Dua said the 26-year-old joins in the ranks of big names such as the Late David Tinemau, PNG Kumul number 43, and the late Bal Numapo, Kumul number 85, who passed away on August 1, 2020 in Kundiawa.

Best wishes to Olam from Simbu

He will be the second Papua New Guinean to play in an NRL grand final with Melbourne Storm; following closely in the steps of his inspiration – Marcus Bai.

The 26-year-old Simbu man wears his heart on his sleeves every time he takes the field. He knows his country, and especially his family back home, closely watch his every move; celebrating and crying with him every step of the way.

Though he is in his Melbourne Storm colours, PNG’s red, black and gold always shine through.

Olam finally debuts

In today’s match against the St George Illawarra Dragons, the 24-year-old ran at centre.

Curtis Scott and Young Tonumaipea, who are nursing injuries, opened the door for Olam.

He has been on the verge of debut since late last season, repeatedly being named the 18th man, or first emergency.

Coach Storm Chris Bellamy had kept Olam on standby early in the week when both Scott and starting winger Suliasi Vunivalu were in doubt.

Olam has been with the team since November 2016.

Rd.9 Hostplus Team Update

After a sustained period of strong form in the Intrust Super Cup, PNG flyer Justin Olam is in line to make his NRL debut on Sunday. A debut for the 24-year old would see him follow in the footsteps of Storm legend and PNG native Marcus Bai.

The turnaround proved too short for Curtis Scott who will miss the match with an ankle injury but should be available for selection in Round 10. While Young Tonumaipea injured his hamstring at training on Thursday and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

RLWC: Olam eases into the Ninth Try

Relive the moment with this Try highlight!

 

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