Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward Junior Paulo says it’s a privilege to be able to represent his family in the Pacific Test this Saturday night, after being selected into the Toa Samoa side for the first time.
Samoa will play the Fiji Bati at Sportingbet Stadium in Penrith as part of the annual Representative Round in the NRL.
“I’m overwhelmed, it’s an awesome feeling to be able to represent my parents’ heritage,” Junior said.
“So I guess it all comes down to this weekend being able to go out and perform for the team.”
For Junior, the best part is learning more about the culture and being with an entire group of people with the same background.
“A lot of the boys were part of the World Cup tour last year, but there’s a lot of new faces into the team and everyone’s been welcoming, it’s great to be surrounded by people of the same heritage as you,” he said.
“Our first night was a bit of a traditional day for us, we had our first real induction ceremony, we had our kava session last night which was pretty good.”
Junior will come up against his Blue and Gold teammate Semi Radradra, who has again been named in the Fiji Bati line-up.
“It’s always exciting coming up against a teammate and a friend, so we wish him all the best and hopefully he wishes the same for us,” Paulo said.
“Fiji are strong, but we have to back it up and hopefully we can come up with a win.”