Justin Olam

Star billing: How Olam has more pulling power than NRL’s biggest names

The Storm centre spruiks health insurance from a billboard here, coffee from the side of a bus there, then superannuation and investment policies on the way into the country’s capital.

By weight of numbers alone, Olam makes a compelling case as the NRL’s most popular man with a rugby league-mad nation of almost nine million.

A couple of ‘Justin Olam fan club’ Facebook pages boast more than 240,000 combined followers, trumping the tallies of entire clubs like Canberra, Manly and Cronulla among others.

Olam renews Storm contract

The Papua New Guinea Kumuls star, who has locked down Storm’s left centre position in the past three seasons, joins captain Christian Welch, Jahrome Hughes, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Harry Grant, Xavier Coates, Reimis Smith and Jack Howarth in committing to Storm long-term in recent months.

One of the most damaging ball runners and hardest hitters in the NRL, Olam’s renewed contract runs until the end of the 2026 season, bringing his time with Storm to 10 seasons.

No nerves: Kumul connection settling Coates for Storm debut

After launching his career at the Broncos with 17 tries in 32 games since debuting as an 18-year-old in 2019, Coates has made the move south to join fellow PNG Kumul Olam in a star studded Storm backline.

"From the first session we did, Juzzy and I clicked straight away from our cultural background," Oates said.

"I am not really an aggressive sort of player but it’s good to have him next to me and it makes you feel comfortable and you trust him.

Climate Change Ambassador

The appointment was announced by the Minister for Climate Change and Environment-Conservation Wera Mori on Friday 18th February.  Olam who is in the country on compassionate leave, accepted the invitation to be the Climate Change Ambassador.

Minister Mori thanked Olam for taking on this challenge for a very critical cause.

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.