Junior Paulo has dealt a major blow to the Kangaroos as the Parramatta prop has confirmed he will play for Samoa at the World Cup.
The 28-year-old is yet to represent Australia at international level but has nine caps for New South Wales for his homeland.
Stream every game of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership season live and ad-break free when you play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Paulo has nine caps for Samoa to his name and although he was “torn” between the nation’s blue shirt or Australia’s green and gold, it was a quote from Phil Gould that ultimately swayed his decision.
Gus Gould hits the nail on the head when he says, “What nation are you crying for when you sing a song?” 9 news.
3 Big Hits: Walker stars as Latrell fires to keep South’s top four hopes alive
‘Frustrated’: Arthur upset by loss as Else ‘steamed’ to continue trend
3 Big Hits: Warriors veteran ‘turns back the clock’ as Walsh delivers ‘classic’ display
“It plays a big role for me, and for me it is the pride of my country, and this is Samoa.”
Paulo joins Canberra forward Josh Papalii and Panthers duo Brian Too and Jarome Luai as NRL stars who have confirmed they will represent Samoa instead of Australia at the World Cup.
The Parramatta star hopes that by not choosing to play for the Kangaroos, he can inspire more youngsters to take pride in their home country.
“I want to be able to inspire the next kid who comes through the ranks and it’s at home, or they’re in the islands watching the World Cup, thinking they want to represent their country,” Paulo said.
The Blues star hopes to make his family proud by playing for Samoa.
“I have both my grandmothers, who are overseas and I want to make them proud while they are still alive,” Paulo said.