Junior Paulo: International rugby league deserves more test matches

Junior Paulo: International rugby league deserves more test matches

Samoa captain Junior Paulo believes now is the time for Samoa to play more test matches so they can build on the momentum from the World Cup.

His Samoa side fell to a 30-10 defeat to Australia in their first-ever World Cup final on Saturday.

However, Paulo believes Samoa have a chance to capitalise on their achievements and go even further through more international test matches and competitions.

He said: “I think international rugby league deserves more tests and we certainly showcased that throughout this World Cup.

“From the start we’ve been training to build to where we wanted to get to, and I think we are reaping the rewards for the sacrifices the players have made over the past couple of years, especially in this campaign.”

There have been no competitive international tournaments other than the World Cup since the 2016 Four Nations, with only a handful of international tests in between.

“We have a busy schedule for throughout the year,” Paulo acknowledged. “I don’t know how we find a way but we need to find a way on how we can have these games for international rugby league moving forward because we are seeing how much it means to everyone around the world.

“It’s all about expanding the game. The Rock was able to give us a shoutout earlier in the week. He’s got like 150 million followers so I’m sure everyone knows what rugby league is now.”

Junior Paulo thanks English fans for their support

A crowd of 67,502 packed into Old Trafford to cheer on underdogs Samoa as they went up against the reigning champions.

“It was awesome,” Paulo said of the English support. “Last week we were on the other end of the stick where they were booing us and tonight it just goes to show how good rugby league is.

“Massive shoutout to the England fans for the respect they showed today.”

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