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


Former UFC champion Jon Jones to return to the octagon after 15-month doping suspension

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones should be eligible to fight by late October after completing a 15-month suspension for a doping violation.

The US Anti-Doping Agency today announced the length of Jones' ban for his second violation of the UFC's anti-doping policy.

The decision means the 31-year-old Jones could even fight at UFC 230 in New York on November 3, if the UFC decides to book his comeback bout on that card.

Jones is widely considered the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world, but he has repeatedly sabotaged his own career.

He reclaimed the light heavyweight title from Daniel Cormier last year, but the victory was taken away when he tested positive for a steroid metabolite.

Jones also failed an out-of-competition test in 2016.

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  (L-R) Jon Jones punches Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 214 event inside the Honda Center on July 29, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jon Jones punches Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 214 event inside the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California. Source: Getty



Watch: Sonny Bill joins daughters in comical Rocky Balboa inspired training video for upcoming bout

Sonny Bill Williams has called in the help of his daughters, Aisha and Imman, to promote his return to the boxing ring in December, with the star posting a hilarious Rocky Balboa inspired training video on social media today.

The cross-code star will fight Australian millionaire Stu Laundy on December 1, in a charity event to fundraise money for the homeless in New Zealand and Australia.

The 33-year-old All Black posted on his Instagram account today a video of him squatting with one daughter on his arm and another on his shoulders.

He also performs sit-ups while feeding his kids in the video.

"I'm back in the ring Dec 1st - Fighting for those who happen to be a bit down on their luck and are homeless in Aotearoa and Australia. It's an honour to be part of this special event ❤️," posted Williams.

He's in line to make his Test rugby return against the Pumas in Argentina next Sunday, after three months out following a shoulder injury against France.

The cross-code star is set to step back into the ring in December in a charity event for the homeless. Source: Instagram/ sonnybillwilliams


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