CANBERRA, Australia — Meaalofa Te’o is a 9-year-old machine making waves across the internet.
Video footage of the youngster playing at a junior rugby league gala day in Canberra, Australia’s capital city, has gone viral on social media.
Te’o is seen using his size and strength to devastating effect, swatting aside opponent after opponent as he plows his way to the try line.
Physically, he’s certainly not your average 9-year-old, and he dwarfs both his teammates and the opposition.
The video shows him playing at the gala for the Doveton Steelers under-9 team, which went on to win 20-10 in the final of the tournament.
The sight of Te’o surging through would-be defenders is not dissimilar to watching a Jonah Lomu highlights reel.
The great New Zealand winger, who died in November, made his name by powering through opponents on the way to the try-line. He gained 63 caps for the All Blacks and scored 37 tries between 1994-2002, on top of starring for its Sevens team
The young rugby league player has quickly become an internet sensation. The USA Rugby Sevens page racked up 30 million views after sharing footage showing Te’o in action.
Some, however, have responded negatively to the footage. Questions have been raised about youth rugby and whether the sport should be categorized by size and weight, rather than age.
Te’o’s father, however, was quick to dispel any negativity surrounding his son’s exploits.
“Tries like that are normal for him, he is a very good player but soft at heart,” Karene Te’o said in an interview with Australian broadcaster Nine’s Wide World of Sports. “He is a very humble young boy.”