Joseph Paulo announces his retirement

Drew Darbyshire
Joseph Paulo Toulouse Olympique SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Former Samoa and USA international Joseph Paulo has played his final game of professional rugby league after deciding to hang up his boots.

The 34-year-old played his last-ever first-grade game on Saturday as his Toulouse side fell short to a 36-16 defeat against his former club St Helens.

Paulo’s contract with relegated Toulouse was is expiring at the end of this season, and he believes the time is right to retire from the game.

More on Joseph Paulo

Paulo was born in Auckland, New Zealand to an American Samoan mother, Jane, and a Samoan father, Aukuso. He is also of Niuean heritage. Paulo was then raised in Sydney, Australia.

He made his international debut for Samoa in 2007, with his NRL debut for Penrith Panthers coming soon after in 2008.

The loose forward made 30 appearances for the Panthers over four seasons.

He made the move to Parramatta in 2011, where he would play 86 games over five seasons with the Eels.

Cronulla had signed Paulo in 2016. The dual-international made 51 appearances for the Sharks between 2016-18.

Paulo made the switch over to Super League with St Helens in 2019. He helped Justin Holbrook’s side win the Super League Grand Final in his first season with the club. In total, Paulo would play 37 games for Saints over two years.

The former Australian Schoolboys representative made the move over to France with Toulouse in 2021. He played 23 games for Sylvain Houles’ side over two seasons and helped them win promotion from the Championship to Super League.

SAMOA: Joseph Paulo believes Samoa are bridging the gap on tier one nations

Mr International Rugby League

Dom Peyroux haka for Joseph Paulo SWpix
Players from Toulouse and St Helens perform Haka for retiring Joseph Paulo | Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Paulo is eligible to represent the national teams of Australia, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa and the United States.

The Auckland-born forward represented his American Samoan and Samoan heritage on the international rugby league scene.

He won 12 caps for Samoa and represented his Samoan roots in the 2008 and 2017 World Cups.

Paulo played alongside his older brother Junior at the 2013 World Cup when the pair represented their mother’s American Samoan side of the family when they pulled on the USA jersey.

In total, Paulo made 248 career appearances, scoring 12 tries.

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