Exciting outside back Junior Pauga will make his NRL debut after being named in the centres for the Round 18 clash against Brisbane.
Pauga will become Wests Tigers Player #247 when he runs onto Suncorp Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Born in Otahuhu, New Zealand, Pauga first burst onto the rugby league scene for the Warriors in the NYC U/20s competition, playing alongside new Wests Tigers recruit Ken Maumalo.
Pauga soon after moved to Australia where he linked up with Wynnum Manly Seagulls and played in the Queensland junior competitions.
He featured in an A-Grade winning campaign with the Wynnum Juniors, where he played a big part in the grand final including scoring a scintillating try.
In 2019, he played 14 matches for the Seagulls in the Intrust Super Cup and was the starting winger in the 2019 Grand Final.
His 2020 campaign was cut short due the cancellation of the reserve grade competitions due to COVID-19.
Before linking up with Wests Tigers in 2021, Pauga recorded four tries, three try assists, three line-breaks and 21 tackle-breaks in just four Intrust Super Cup games.
He joined Wests Tigers during the season — featuring five times for Western Suburbs Magpies in the Knock-On Effect NSW Cup.
Named at centre for Sunday’s clash, the youngster is also capable of playing on the wing and at fullback — and possesses pace and footwork.
"I was pretty lost for words when I found out I was playing, but excited at the same time," Pauga said.
"I just can't believe it. I'm about to make my childhood dream come true."
|Date of Birth||3rd February, 1996|
Match: Broncos v Wests Tigers
Round 18 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane