Dyldam Parramatta Eels utility Joseph Paulo has been selected to represent the KARI City Origin side for the clash with Country at McDonald’s Park, Wagga Wagga, this Sunday.
“I was definitely surprised,” Paulo said of his selection to the team.
“It’s always an honour to represent and play in the Representative round, but to play for City, it’s exciting and I’m looking forward to this week.”
Being selected for the City Origin side has always been something Paulo has had on his radar, and the utility was looking forward to the week after originally being named in the squad’s 18 man side.
“It’s definitely something I’ve always looked out for, but its [the selection] come out late,” Paulo said.
“Being 18th man you never know with guys pulling out, so we’ll see how we go this week but I’m just happy to be in camp and meet some new boys.”
However due to injuries to Luke Keary and Dylan Walker, forcing the two to pull out of the side, Paulo was confirmed on the City Interchange bench.
“I didn’t even know that, so I guess it’s an honour to represent my family,” Paulo said of his inclusion into the playing side.
“Especially when my dad brought us over here and I had never played footy before. To play footy first in Sydney for the St Clair Comets and now to play for the City team it’s an awesome achievement for me, thanks for giving me the heads up!” the utility said.
With Paulo making his first City team, he was looking forward to the week ahead and learning from other squad players.
“I feel you can always learn just being around different players, different clubs, different cultures, that’s what’s most exciting,” Paulo said of the week ahead.
‘I’ve already met some of the older boys like Tony Butterfield, he always says what kind of week it’s going to be, what he looks forward to bringing to this camp. He’s our defensive coach so it will be good to work with him and Brad Fittler.”
City Origin Head Coach Brad Fittler, was one of Paulo’s idol’s growing up, making this experience even more exciting.
“Freddy and Joey were like my idols when I was young,” he said.
“I used to love watching them play. I can’t obviously do a left footstep like Freddy!”
“I think his wealth of knowledge of the game and his experience will just really help the camp mood and hopefully I can gain something from it.”
Eels hooker Nathan Peats has also been named in the side, with Paulo and Peats the two Blue and Gold representatives in the City v Country clash this week.
“For sure that’s the first thing you want to see if someone else is in the team,” Paulo said of Peats.
“He’s been here, he played last year and he sort of just gave me the tips.”
“He said it’s going to be an enjoyable week, the game’s pretty tough but we’ll just work together and help each other when we’re out there.”
The City jersey will be another addition to the Paulo household, with Joseph already having played for Samoa, USA and the NRL All Star’s.
“I think (my wife) Katy is starting to lose all the jersey’s we’ve had in the past,” he joked.
“I guess it is another team for her to cheer for.”
“I’m just happy to have her and her full support and she’s so proud. She was a bit teary last night, but it’s good to have an exciting wife and have her around.”