A Polynesian ‘New World Order’: The best big men in the NRL look a little different in 2020 and that can only be a good thing




Australian club rugby league has been blessed by the best big men the sport has ever produced since the code’s inception in this country back in 1908.

From Glenn Lazarus to Arthur Beetson.

Paul Harragon, Shane Webcke, Steve Roach and Noel Kelly.

What about Herb Steinohrt, Duncan Hall and Roy Bull?

All legendary names but time goes and with it everything changes.

The NRL in 2020 is a completely different world.

This is a different era. For 2020 is now the time of Polynesia… bow down to its greatness.

Come on!

Josh Papalii and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, anyone?

Sio Siua Taukeiaho?

Brad Fittler has already confirmed Junior Paulo (represented Samoa), Payne Haas (Samoan heritage), Daniel Saifiti (represented Fiji) in his New South Wales squad for State of Origin.

Haas and Saifiti have already tasted Origin.

Kiwi-born Moeaki Fotuaika will make his Maroons debut after being announced in Queensland’s squad.

Melbourne Storm’s giant super sub Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, who represented both the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII and Samoa in 2019, is a certain starter for Queensland.

On Sunday, Penrith’s captain is Palmerston North’s James Tamou.

Alongside him is arguably the best forward in the world right… James Fisher-Harris. He’s from Kohukohu – about a ten-hour drive south on New Zealand’s north island.

By the time the Panthers run out for the grand final, the Storm will already be out there.

Fa’asuamaleaui can’t even make the Melbourne Starting line-up.

That’s because they have a club legend by the name of Jesse Bromwich ready to bring back the first kick off in yet another decider.

From Auckland, Bromwich is now a veteran of almost 250 NRL games, four grand finals and 28 games for the Kiwis.

Oh and there’s some other small bugger called Nelson Asofoa-Solomona.

Not only is he a giant… he’s a legitimate superstar of the sport.

He’s from Wellington.

Forget the Storm guard of honour… Cameron Smith is still open to playing on at another club in 2021

There’s also been speculation that 25-year-old Auckland-native Moses Leota – on the bench for the Panthers this weekend – is about to make Fittler’s Blues 27-man roster.

Or how about South Sydney’s Tevita Tatola?

Fittler himself confirmed Tatola was close to selection as a bolter.

Another guy on Penrith’s bench is Tokoroa’s Zane Tetevano and he’s already won a grand final.

To put all this in perspective, the NSW Blues used seven props in the 2010 Origin series.

They were Michael Weyman, Jason King, Josh Perry, Brett White, Kade Snowden, Tom Learoyd-Larhs and Tim Mannah.

Not one of them have Polynesian heritage.

Rugby league doesn’t stop moving.

This is a new era.

And we haven’t even discussed the freak Viliame Kikau.

Yeah, he’s a second-rower, and officially, his home nation of Fiji sits just outside what we call the ‘Polynesian Triangle’ but at 195 centimetres and 120 kilograms, Kikau is a game-changer and an X-Factor of the highest order.

He is as much a poster boy as Jason Taumalolo, Sonny Bill Williams or Ali Lauiti’iti before them.

It’s a new game.

We have a World Cup in the United Kingdom next year and who knows what that will look like?

The Kangaroos need to start bouncing.

Long live Polynesia!


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