Meaalofa Te'o. Remember the name.
Griffith rugby has been enriched by a 67kg, 10-year-old sensation who has already made international news for his barnstorming runs and prolific try scoring.
Meaalofa employs what’s known in rugby as “the Maori sidestep”, when you run straight over the opposing player rather than trying to move to the right or left of them.
His style of play has been compared to the late great All Blacks player Jonah Lomu, who was known for steamrolling opposition backs on his way to the tryline. He’s also been nicknamed “tank” and “little beast”.
“What’s the most number of players you’ve beaten on the way to the tryline?” we asked Meaalofa
“25” he replied.
“But aren’t there only 15 players in a team?”
“Yeah, some came again”
Meaalofa, who prefers to be called Rayson, was born in New Zealand to Samoan parents. He scored 40 tries for his junior rugby club in Melbourne last season – a remarkable effort for a prop forward.
His family recently moved to Griffith, his father taking up a job with Baiada Poultry, while Rayson has joined Year 4 at Hanwood Public.
“My Dad’s a chicken catcher. I’d like to try that too,” he said.
But for now, he said wants to switch codes to play rugby league for the Griffith Waratah Tigers next season.
“How do we sign him up?” Robert Donovan of the Waratah Tiger Juniors said when told about Rayson.
The good news for Australia is that Rayson also wants to play for the Wallabies when he grows up, not the All Blacks. And he wants to switch from prop to fullback.
“When I get the ball, I want more space to run,” he said.
The crowds will be flocking to Griffith next season to see him run too.
Name: Meaalofa Te’o
Weight: 67 kg
Favourite team: Melbourne Storm
Favourite player: Shaun Johnson
Favourite school subject: Maths
Favourite food: Vegetables
Hobbies: Playing the drums, swimming
Future Career: Famous rugby player