Justin Olam

Justin Olam (born 23 December 1993) he is a Papua New Guinean professional rugby league footballer who plays as a centre or winger for the Melbourne Storm in the NRL, and Papua New Guinea at international level.

Justin Olam
Personal information
Born (1993-12-23) 23 December 1993
Chimbu Province, Papua New Guinea
Height178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight93 kg (14 st 9 lb)
Playing information
PositionCentre
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2018–19 Melbourne Storm 17 7 0 0 28
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2016–19 Papua New Guinea 9 6 0 0 24
2019– PNG 9s 3 1 0 0 4
As of 20 October 2019
Source: [1]

He's the second Papua New Guinean local rugby league player to have been playing in the NRL without having played junior rugby league in Australia just after his fellow countryman and former Melbourne Storm 1999 NRL premiership winner Marcus Bai.

Early life

Justin Olam was born and raised in Gon , a tiny village in the Sinesine Yonggomugl District of Chimbu Province, Papua New Guinea.

He never played too much rugby league because both his parents were big on his education.

He was educated at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Physics. Olam played his first and consecurtive junior rugby league for Unitech Spartans in the PNG Universities competition while in year two (2).

In 2015 While in year (3) at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology he went onto play for the Lae Snax Tigers in the Papua New Guinea National Rugby League.

Playing career

2016

After impressive performance in the Digicel Cup for the Lae Snax Tigers in the Papua New Guinea National Rugby League, he was signed by the PNG Hunters for the 2016 Queensland Cup season. He played for them for one year in the Queensland Cup.[2] He went on to make his international debut for Papua New Guinea Kumuls at the 2016 Pacific Test against Fiji Bati. With a successful 2016 campaign, Olam signed a contract with the Melbourne Storm for the 2017 and 2018 season in the NRL.[3]

2017

In 2017, he played in every game for the Melbourne Storm feeder club Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Intrust Super Cup competition through to the grand final loss against his former team PNG Hunters who came from behind to score in the dying minutes and won 12-10 at Suncorp Stadium. He was still patience for an opportunity to make the Melbourne Storm first grade team. He also continued to represent Papua New Guinea Kumuls in the 2017 Pacific Test and 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

2018

In round 9 of the 2018 NRL season he made his NRL debut in the centers for the Melbourne Storm against the St George Illawarra Dragons at Jubilee Oval were he set up a try for his winger Josh Addo-Carr. He then played two further games at the end of the season in round 24 against Gold Coast Titans and round 25 against Penrith Panthers in the NRL season. He continued international representation for his beloved Papua New Guinea Kumuls in the Pacific Test against Fiji Bati in Sydney and two end of year test against the England Knights in Lae and Port Moresby. His contract was extended for another two years after impressive string of performance in the reserve grade which will keep him at the Melbourne Storm till the end of the 2020 NRL season.[4]

2019

In round 24 of the 2019 NRL season he scored his first ever NRL hat-trick in his 13th game against Manly Sea Eagles at Lottoland Brookvale Oval. He finished off strongly in the 2019 season with him playing in 14 games and scored 7 tries at the back end of the season, and touted by many as one of the most Improved NRL player of the modern era. His continuous rising in the top grade kept the likes of Will Chambers, Sandor Earl, Curtis Scott, Solomone Kata and Marion Seve on the bench or cooling their heels off in reserve grade. On 2nd October, Olam was named in the Papua New Guinea Kumuls team for the inaugural 2019 Rugby League World Cup 9s. During the two days Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s tournament at the Bankwest Stadium in Sydney, he played in all the three matches in their pool against USA Hawks, New Zealand Kiwis and Australia Kangaroos were Olam scored one try against New Zealand Kiwis. On 23rd of October, he was again named in the Papua New Guinea Kumuls squad for the 2019 Oceania Cup (rugby league) Pool B Ox & Palm Pacific Invitational Test vs Fiji Bati at Christchurch Stadium in New Zealand on the 9th of November 2019 and Great Britain Lions on 16th November, 2019 at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby Papua New Guinea.

References

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