Dr Alan Campbell, the principal of Brisbane's Anglican Church Grammar School, can remember seeing teachers and sports masters scurrying
towards the football fields on a Saturday morning.
It wasn't a particularly unusual sight; many of the staff would assemble to watch the school's first XV play against their traditional GPS rivals during the rugby season.
But the older boys were still hours away from taking the field. It was another curiosity that had put some purpose in their stride. There was
this kid â who was born in Western Australia to Maori parents and came to Brisbane via Mt Isa, Palmerston North in New Zealand and Mackay â that commanded everybody's attention.
"He did [steal the attention], even in his early teenage years, around 13 or 14," Dr Campbell says of Kalyn Ponga. "It's fair to say he was
quite electrifying on the field.