A year to remember for Lomax

Margie McDonald

The year 2024 can already be marked down in Zac Lomax’s diary as one of his best.


The St George Illawarra Dragons outside back not only reached the NRL 100-game milestone, but received the call-up into the Westpac NSW Blues.


He was part of the Blues' extended Origin squad in 2020, but will start on the wing for NSW next Wednesday night (5 June) in Game One of the 2024 Ampol State of Origin series.


Lomax makes his debut in front of his hometown crowd at Sydney’s Accor Stadium.


“It is a bit of a pinch-myself moment, and to see the impact it’s all had on my family and friends is special too. It’s what it’s all about,” Lomax told nswrl.com.au


“I’m thoroughly enjoying my footy at the moment. I just like competing and trying to be the best teammate I can.”


The 24-year-old’s talent was spotted early. 


He left his hometown of Temora in southern NSW at age 15 to play for the Illawarra Steelers, then St George Illawarra Dragons in the UNE Harold Matthews Cup (Under 17s) and UNE SG Ball Cup (Under 19s) competitions.


“I was pretty much into the NRL after that – it all happened so fast.”


Lomax made his NRL debut with the Dragons in Round 10, 2018, when he was just 18 years old.


He was also an Australian Schoolboy in 2016 and 2017, and he was selected in both the NSW Under 16s and Under 18s sides – with current Origin teammate Payne Haas.


“Payno and I played a lot of our footy together as we’re the same age,” Lomax said.


“It means a lot to me he’ll be beside me again in a Blues team.”


Another in Lomax's corner is club coach Shane Flanagan, who is a former NSW Blues assistant coach.


“He just said to me ‘Mate you deserve it. You’ve been playing great’,” Lomax said. 


“He was very complimentary to me and I’m super thankful for that. He reached out straight away.”


He is also not the only Temora product in the NSW Blues side this year. Joining him are True Blue forwards Liam Martin and Angus Crichton proving there’s something in the water in the Riverina district.


“Everyone back home just loves sport and it doesn’t matter what that is – Rugby League, AFL, or cricket,” Lomax said.


“Everyone is always outside, outdoors, playing or watching sport.”