Joseph Paulo called into NRL All Stars

Dyldam Parramatta Eels utility Joseph Paulo has been called into the NRL All Stars squad ahead of the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday, February 13.

Paulo replaces William Hopoate who was forced out of Wayne Bennett’s squad due to injury.

“I was very surprised to hear the news this morning because I know the kind of talent we have here at this team, but I am stoked to get the call up and I just look forward to representing my family and the club the best I can,” said Paulo of his selection to the All Stars squad.

“Wayne Bennett has been in the game for a long time and he is one of those coaches that everybody looks up to.”

“I have never had the opportunity to really sit down and talk to him so I am looking forward to the chance to sit down and chat to him and just learn as much as I can,” Paulo added.

Paulo reflected on the Blue and Gold campaign at the 2015 Auckland Nines, and despite the Semi Finals loss, was excited about the season ahead.

“It was a fast game out there. It was a lot quicker this year and we obviously went well until that last game,” said Paulo.

“It is a step forward for us, and we are building at this club and with the hard work we have put in during the offseason, hopefully it will pay dividends when the season starts.”

With plenty of youth and exuberance coming through the ranks of the Blue and Gold, Paulo was excited about the talent coming through the ranks.

“Tepai is just one of those freak kids. He has come straight out of school, played first grade last year and this year he has taken off again. I am expecting big things from him, he has a bright future,” Paulo said of Tepai Moeroa’s impressive display at the Nines.

“We also had the likes of Halauafu Lavaka and Johnny Folau and all those kids that stood up. It was a good test for them to put themselves  against NRL players and I know the hard work they have been putting in during the off-season.”

And with four weeks to go until the Eels kick off their 2015 season with their clash against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Pirtek Stadium for Round One, Paulo and the rest of the squad are chomping at the bit to get the season underway.

“You can only train for so long. You are itching to play and everyone out there today can’t wait to play,” Paulo said.

“We know we have a trial this week at Alice Springs and then our last trial at Penrtih and I think everyone will be putting their best foot forward for those trials and hopefully have a sport for Round One against the Sea Eagles.”

Tickets are available for the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars at ticketek.com.au/allstars

All Stars squad:

1          Matt Moylan

2          Manu Vatuvei           

3          Jarrod Croker           

4          Dylan Walker

5          Antonio Winterstein

6          Kieran Foran Sea

7          Mitchell Pearce         

8          James Graham          

9          Nathan Friend          

10       Jared Waerea-Hargreaves  

11       Beau Scott  (c)          

12       Jason Taumalolo       

13       Paul Gallen    

14       Jesse Bromwich        

15       Luke Brooks  

16       Joseph Paulo

17       Trent Merrin

18       Corey Parker

19       Jeremy Smith

20       Dave Taylor  

 

Indigenous All Stars squad:

1          Greg Inglis

2          Alex Johnston

3          Will Chambers

4          Justin Hodges

5          Josh Hoffman

6          Ben Barba

7          Johnathan Thurston

8          George Rose

9          Ray Thompson

10       Ryan James

11       Tyrone Peachey

12       Sam Thaiday

13       Greg Bird

14       Tyrone Roberts

15       Chris Grevsmuhl

16       Dane Gagai

17       Kyle Turner

18       Jack Wighton

19       Kierran Moseley

20       Brad Tighe