Junior Paulo praises Samoan and Tongan communities ahead of powerhouse quarter-final

Drew Darbyshire
Junior Paulo Samoa SWpix

Photo: John Cowpland/SWpix.com/PhotosportNZ

Junior Paulo has made a special mention to the Samoan and Tongan communities around the world ahead of today’s World Cup quarter-final.

Pacific neighbours Samoa and Tonga will meet in the quarter-final of the Rugby League World Cup in Warrington on Saturday afternoon.

With parades going on around the world ahead of this Pasifika clash, Samoa captain Paulo has praised the Samoan and Tongan spirit.

“I think it will be good for international rugby league in general,” Paulo said of the highly-anticipated quarter-final.

“Both teams are powerhouses throughout the middle and have that spark on the edges so it’s definitely going to be an entertaining style of footy. International footy is all about building and that’s what this World Cup is for.

“First of all, I want to make a special mention to both the Tongan community and the Samoan community. I think it’s amazing what both cultures are doing and the way they are celebrating let alone in Australia or New Zealand, but all around the world.

“We’re seeing on social media the parades that are happening in Australia and New Zealand and the islands. I think everyone can be proud of both nations heading into such an important game against each other, but I think this is what we’ve been building over the past couple of years. I think we get to celebrate a special moment in rugby league.”

Junior Paulo Samoa and Tonga players at 2017 World Cup PA
Samoa and Tonga players come together after their match at 2017 World Cup

Junior Paulo: Our Samoan support means everything

Paulo says his side are always grateful for the huge support they receive from Samoans around the world.

“I think it’s everything for us as a team,” Paulo added.

“There’s a lot of people around the world who are supporting us. It means everything for our people and how we can inspire them and make them proud.

“I think they are proud enough that we get to pull on the jersey; let alone the result or whatever happens, win, lose of draw… They are always going to be proud of us choosing to representing them.”

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