St Helens sign NRL forward Joseph Paulo

Joseph Paulo celebrates a try for the USA Tomahawks against Wales in the 2013 World Cup
Joseph Paulo celebrates a try for the USA Tomahawks against Wales in the 2013 World Cup
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International back rower Joseph Paulo will link up with St Helens in 2019.

The 30-year-old has inked a three-year contract at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Equally adept at second row or loose forward, the Kiwi will bring plenty of experience to Justin Holbrook’s side having played more than 160 appearances in the NRL.

He has also gained eleven caps for Samoa and captained the USA in the 2013 World Cup.

Saints Head Coach Justin Holbrook said: “I’ve watched Joseph for a number of years now and I admire how he plays the game.

“He has a high skill level, with good vision, and will be a good addition to the squad next season.

Paulo made his NRL debut for Penrith in 2008 against his current club Cronulla. He played 30 times for the Panthers before moving to Parramatta Eels.

More than 80 appearances later he was snapped up by Cronulla where he played alongside Ben Barba. This year he has played 18 games for the Sharks.

Joseph said: “The decision to leave the NRL and come over to the UK is one I am really excited about.

“It was a choice that was made easier too when I knew I was coming over to a great club like St Helens.

“They have been a successful club for many years and with the culture they have built over time I just wanted to be a part of it.

“The timing felt right with a young family too and it will be great to link up with some old friends there.

“I know Zeb Taia and Ryan Morgan and also played with Ben Barba at the Sharks. I’m close to Kevin Naiqama so it will be good to play alongside those boys.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the Saints fans and showing what I can do.”

Paulo is Saints’ third signing ahead of the 2019 season with Fijian Captain Naiqama and Joe Bachelor already committing their future to the club.