THE name Feleti Mateo is already one synonymous with the National Rugby League, with the Parramatta Eels junior now one of the New Zealand Warriors’ most dynamic backrowers.
And, in the form of an up-and-coming Orange CYMS junior, the name appears set to remain entrenched in the game for years to come.
Making his own waves, Canobolas Rural Technology High School student Feleti Mateo, a first cousin of the New Zealand Warriors forward, has been selected in the NSW Combined High Schools under 15s side.
The 14-year-old backrower starred for Canobolas in the western trials at Blayney before again excelling at further trials at both Peak Hill and Gilgandra.
It was then at the NSWCHS selection run at Toronto that Mateo caught the eye of those that count.
So much so, the hard-hitting forward not only earned a place in the NSWCHS under 15s team, Mateo earned a scholarship with the Newcastle Knights that will run the duration of the rest of his schooling in Orange.
It will make Mateo eligible for the Knights’ SG Ball and Harold Matthews sides from 2015 onwards.
Looking forward to the significant step up in competition, the quietly-spoken Mateo said the level of rugby league he was about to endure at the 2014 Australian Scholboys 15 years Rugby League Championship in Tamworth would be “by far” tougher than anything he had experienced.
“Bigger boys, the speed level and the competition, it’ll all be tougher,” Mateo said ahead of the week-long tournament, which kicks off on Sunday, June 22.
Formerly a Bloomfield player before making the switch to CYMS, Mateo said his selection in the NSWCHS under 15s and scholarship with the Knights was a step in the right direction.
“I want to try and make it to the NRL,” he said.