|Name Junior Paulo|
Height 1.88 m
Career start 2013
|Role Rugby Player|
Weight 110 kg
|Similar People Brad Arthur, Ricky Stuart, Stephen Kearney|
Junior Paulo (born 20 November 1993) is a New Zealand-born professional rugby league footballer who currently plays for the Canberra Raiders in the National Rugby League. A Samoan international representative, he plays at prop and previously played for the Parramatta Eels.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Paulo is of Samoan descent. Paulo moved to Sydney, New South Wales as a teenager and played his junior football for the Ashcroft Stallions and the Cabramatta Two Blues and attended renowned rugby league school Ashcroft High School before being signed by the Parramatta Eels. Paulo played for the Eels NYC team in 2012 and 2013. In 2011, Paulo played for the Australian Schoolboys. On 20 April 2013, Paulo played for the New South Wales U20's team off the interchange bench in the 36–12 win over Queensland at Penrith Stadium.
In Round 10 of the 2013 NRL season, Paulo made his NRL debut for the Parramatta Eels against the St George Illawarra Dragons off the interchange bench in the Eels 32–12 loss at WIN Stadium. On 5 July 2013, Paulo extended his contract with the Eels for a further 3 years till the end of the 2016 season. In Round 22 against the Wests Tigers, Paulo scored his first NRL career try in the Eels 26–22 win at Parramatta Stadium. Paulo finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing in 11 matches and scoring a try for the Parramatta Eels in the 2013 NRL season.
In May 2014, Paulo was selected for the Samoa national rugby league team to play against Fiji in the 2014 Pacific Rugby League International but was replaced by Carlos Tuimavave. Paulo finished off the 2014 NRL season with him playing in 16 matches and scoring a try for the Parramatta Eels. On 8 September 2014, Paulo was named in the Samoa train-on squad for the 2014 Four Nations, but later didn’t make the final 24-man squad.
On 31 January and 1 February, Paulo played for the Eels in the 2015 NRL Auckland Nines. In Round 1 against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, he received a 9-week suspension for his high tackle on Sea Eagles hooker Matt Ballin in the Eels' 42–12 win at Parramatta Stadium. Paulo made his return to the Eels team in Round 11 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Eels' 14–12 loss at ANZ Stadium. He finished off the 2015 season having played in 15 matches and scoring 2 tries for the Eels. On 29 September, he was involved in a road rage incident with a 28-year-old man on the M4 Western Motorway, Paulo was accused of tailgating the other driver before punching him in the face and driving away from the scene after the pair pulled over after both of their vehicles collided with each other. Paulo was later charged with common assault, recklessly damaging property and menacing driving. Paulo will plead not guilty to the charges in court in October 2016.
In February, Paulo played for the Eels in their 2016 NRL Auckland Nines winning tournament. On 14 March, he signed a 2-year contract with the Canberra Raiders starting in 2017. On 7 May, he made his international debut for Samoa against Tonga in the 2016 Polynesian Cup. On 29 March, he was released effectively immediately from his Eels contract to join the Raiders early. In Round 13, he made his club debut for the Raiders against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, where he started at prop in the 30–18 win at Canberra Stadium. Later in the year he represented Samoa in their historical test match against Fiji in Apia.