Jordan Mailata's humbleness key to former NRL star's NFL rise - 'I didn't know anything'

Jordan Mailata is blessed with speed and agility packed in a monstrous 203cm tall, 157kg body.

However, there's one thing the Australian says he doesn't possess.

An ego.

The former South Sydney rugby league junior believes that could be in his favour when reigning Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles slash their rosters this weekend.

The Eagles, and the NFL's 31 other teams, must cut their pre-season squads from 90 to 53 by Saturday (Sunday 6am AEST) for Thursday's start of the NFL regular season, and there's plenty of buzz in Philadelphia that Mailata will do the improbable and survive.

"I think it's the ego," the 21-year-old told reporters when asked why he'd been so impressive during the Eagles' pre-season despite his scant American football experience.

Twenty-six athletes turned out for today’s trial but it was two latecomers who really turned heads. Source: 1 NEWS

The humble Mailata, from the western Sydney suburb of Bankstown, says he accepts he's "at the bottom of the food chain".

Not only is Mailata a rookie but until four weeks ago he'd never played a game of organised American football.

Other rookies, he believes, enter the NFL with egos after starring on big US college teams.

Semisi Tu’uefiafi is a 19-year-old basketball player looking for an opportunity with NFL International Combine. Source: 1 NEWS

"They feel like top dog," Mailata, an offensive tackle who uses his huge frame to protect the quarterback, said.

"They come to here and they are at the bottom of the food chain.

"For me, I knew nothing so I was fine."

The American media have fallen in love with Mailata.

His coaches and Eagles teammates, including Pro Bowl offensive tackle Lane Johnson, are full of praise for Mailata's work ethic and the steep learning curve he's embraced.

"First of all, he's a freak of nature with his size," Johnson said.

"To have a guy that can move with his size, his weight, his ability.

"He's just a baby.

"He's just scratching the surface so it's going to be scary with what he is going to do in the next few years."

Johnson and other Eagles also speak fondly of Mailata's sense of humour.

The Australian is always cracking jokes and has impressed the Eagles with his singing ability.

"Personality is also a big thing," Mailata said.

"I'm really outgoing."

Johnson and the other experienced members of the Eagles' offensive line are often fielding questions from the inquisitive Mailata and, apparently, the lessons continue when they head out on team dinners.

"We went to a Mexican restaurant and he didn't know what an enchilada was," Johnson laughed.

"It's been a journey for him."

1 NEWS' Pacific Correspondent gives a round-up of news in the region. Source: 1 NEWS


North and South Korea confirm joint bid for 2032 Summer Olympics

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement today that the countries planned to jointly bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics.

At a major summit, the two leaders gave no details of which cities might host certain events at the games, or how advanced the plans were.

The International Olympic Committee traditionally does not announce host cities until seven years ahead of the games. That would give the Koreas until 2025 to put together a joint bid.

Germany has already announced plans for a multi-city bid for 2032, as has Brisbane, Australia. The India Olympic Committee has also indicated its interest in hosting the 2032 Games.

A successful bid by the Koreas would mark the second time South Korea hosted or co-hosted the Summer Games, the first being 1988 in Seoul. South Korea also hosted the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February.

Asia also features in the next two Olympics — the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, which also hosted the summer version in 2008.

The joint statement today also said the Koreas would look to cooperate in major sports events such as the 2020 Games, also without elaborating.

South Korean President Moon Jae In (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take part in a pine tree planting ceremony in the border village of Panmunjeom on April 27, 2018. (Korea Summit Press Pool) (Kyodo)
(Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) and South Korean President Moon Jae In took part in an historic meeting in April. Source: Getty



Eden Park's new Our Wāhine mural showcases iconic female athletes to celebrate women’s suffrage anniversary

Auckland sports stadium Eden Park has unveiled a new mural dedicated to iconic New Zealand sportswomen as part of celebrations of the 125th anniversary since Kiwi women gained the right to vote.

The mural, which spans multiple areas of the stadium, includes Yvette Williams (track and field), Suzie Bates (cricket), Farah Palmer, Fiao'o Fa'amausili (rugby), Ruia Morrison (tennis), Dame Valerie Adams (shot put) and Lisa Carrington (kayaking).

Eden Park commissioned Kiwi artist Kate Hursthouse for the artwork.

Hursthouse says 'Our Wāhine' was a special piece for her.

"It's great to have such an iconic venue in my local neighbourhood celebrate New Zealand sportswomen, acknowledge Suffrage 125 and additionally make these seven women a permanent feature of the stadium," she said.

Eden Park CEO Nick Sautner said inspiration for the mural came from last month's Black Ferns Test match against the Wallaroos.

"My great grandmother signed the scroll to get women the vote," he said.

"It's important to celebrate the women who are pushing limits and breaking boundaries in both the professional and sporting worlds. Most of those featured have long affiliations with our stadium."

Dame Valerie Adams and Yvette Williams feature among the seven chosen for the piece. Source: 1 NEWS



Watch: MLB pitcher makes insane behind-the-back catch on ball drilled back at him

A Major League Baseball pitcher has shown his teammates how it's done in the field after using some impressive reflexes to turn an unlikely double play.

New York Mets left-hander Steven Matz stunned commentators and players alike after he managed to catch a ball hit straight back at him behind his back before recovering and throwing to first for an innings-ending double play.

Matz allowed Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Rhys Hoskins on base with a walk in the fifth innings of today's game before Roman Quinn stepped up to the plate with one out.

Quinn laced a pitch back up the middle of the diamond for what looked like a safe hit until Matz managed to get his glove behind and fall to the ground to not only stop the ball, but make a catch.

Hoskins, who jumped on contact was left frozen and flat-footed by the play as Matz recovered and threw to first base from his knees to complete the third out and earn applause from the Philadelphia crowd.

Unfortunately for Matz, the effort was in vain as the Mets went down to the Phillies 5-2 thanks to a five-run innings later in the game when he was relieved from the mound.


'It's a pretty normal thing' - humble Kiwi cyclist George Bennett on viral water bottle gift moment

Kiwi cyclist George Bennett says his kind gesture for a young adoring fan, where he handed the cheering supporter his water bottle, is nothing new.

Bennett became a viral sensation despite finishing outside the top 10 at the Vuelta a Espana, when he took the time on the final stage to make one young fan's day.

After receiving applause from a young supporter, Bennett decided to give him an unexpected reward for his enthusiastic cheers during one of the event's climbs – his water bottle.

"This kid was still screaming full gas like I could win the race but I was 15 minutes behind at that stage," Bennett told Stuff.

"I've thrown a thousand bottles to kids in my career and I'll probably throw a thousand more."

The moment was caught on video and shared by the boy's family online.

The gesture has now been viewed hundreds of thousands of times with many heaping praise on Bennett for the gesture.

"This one just got caught on video and there's just something about how enthusiastic the kid was," he said.

"But it's a pretty normal thing at the end of a bike race; there's thousands of kids screaming for your bottle when you're riding to the finish.

"It's quite a cool thing because the fans are so connected to the riders, they're so close and for us it's a bottle, we go through 15-20 a day, but for them it's something pretty cool and hopefully it gets them into cycling."

Bennett may have had a disappointing finish in the Tour of Spain but he made sure he made someone else’s day. Source: 1 NEWS