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Family and friends gathered with the rugby league community and sporting people at large to remember and celebrate the life of the legendary Olsen Filipaina yesterday.

A special memorial service was held at the iconic Leichhardt Oval, The Big O’s home ground during his time with the Balmain Tigers.

If you missed the livestream of the service, you can watch it here on replay, check in on the page and leave your tribute to Olsen and his family.


Sydney became Filipaina’s home after he left his beloved Mangere East Hawks in Auckland to start his five-year Balmain career in 1980 before he had stints with Eastern Suburbs in 1985 and North Sydney in 1986 and 1987.

The 29-Test Kiwi great’s body will be flown to New Zealand tomorrow (Wednesday) where there will be further services before he is laid to rest alongside his mother Sissie and brother Rae in Awarua in the Far North.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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