13 May 1992 |
Auckland, New Zealand
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||110 kg (17 st 5 lb)|
|Position||Second-row, Lock, Prop|
|As of 1 September 2015|
|Source: Rugby League Project|
Josh Papalii (born 13 May 1992) is a New Zealand-born Australian professional rugby league footballer who currently plays for the Canberra Raiders of the National Rugby League. Papalii primarily plays at second-row, lock and prop. Papalii is a Queensland and Australia national representative.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Papalii is of Samoan descent. Papalii moved to Australia at the age of 6 and was raised in Woodridge, Queensland, playing his junior footy for Logan Brothers before being signed the Canberra Raiders. Papalii played 20 matches for Raiders NYC side between 2010 and 2011. In 2010 Papalii represented the Queensland under 18 side and was selected in the Junior Kiwis' training squad, although he did not make the final side.
In Round 10 of the 2011 NRL season, Papalii made his NRL debut for the Canberra Raiders against the Melbourne Storm off the interchange bench in the Raiders 20–12 win at AAMI Park. In Round 14 against the Brisbane Broncos, Papalii showed a promising performance in his young first grade career scoring two tries back to back to help lead a Raiders comeback, coming from 24–0 down to level the game 24–24, before losing in extra time 25–24 at Suncorp Stadium. Papalii finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing in 14 matches and scoring 3 tries for the Raiders in the 2011 NRL season. On October 2011, Papalii was selected for the Junior Kiwis.
In September 2012, Papalii pledged his representative allegiance to Queensland and Australia. Papalii finished the 2012 NRL season with him playing in all the Raiders 26 matches and scoring 7 tries. In December 2012, Papalii was named in Queensland's Emerging Origin Squad.
On 23 February 2013, the Parramatta Eels signed Papalii on a three-year deal from the start of 2014, but later, on 8 March 2013, Papalii pulled out the Eels contract and re-signed a further 3 years with the Raiders to 2016 to remain close to family and friends. Papalii first gained selection for the Maroons for Game 2 of the 2013 State of Origin series, playing off the interchange bench in the Maroons 26–6 win at Suncorp Stadium. Papalii continued into Game 3, helping Queensland extend their record for consecutive series victories to eight. On 31 August 2013, Papalii and fellow Canberra Raiders team-mate Anthony Milford were fined by the club for an alleged drinking incident two days before the Raiders 50–16 loss to the New Zealand Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium in Round 25. Papalii finished the 2013 NRL season with him playing in 21 NRL matches and scoring 3 tries for the Raiders. Due to some of Papalii's outstanding performances during the 2013 season, he earned selection in the Australia 24-man squad for the 2013 World Cup, playing in 4 matches and scoring 2 tries. Papalii played off the interchange bench in Australia's 34–2 World Cup Final win against New Zealand at Old Trafford. On 18 October 2013, Papalii was robbed by 2 men at a Manchester nightclub ATM and had around £200 (about $385 in Australian Dollars) stolen from him.
Papalii was selected for the Queensland Maroons team for Game 1 in the 100th State of Origin match at Suncorp Stadium off the interchange bench in the Maroons 12–8 loss. On 12 June 2014, Papalii was involved in a road rage incident after he threw a one-litre bottle of moisturising cream at another motorist who insisted on a public apology. The NRL club agreed to pay for the damage caused to the car of University of Canberra staff member Michael Tutalo, but said his lengthy list of demands, which included a face-to-face apology from the Australian and Queensland representative in front of The Canberra Times building in Fyschwick, were too much. The pair became involved in a heated exchange after Papalii allegedly cut off Mr Tutalo as he drove along Belconnen Way in Bruce. Papalii finished the 2014 NRL season with him playing in 19 matches and scoring 3 tries for the Raiders. On 14 October 2014, Papalii was selected for Australia in their 2014 Four Nations 24-man squad. Papalii played in 4 matches and scored a try in tournament. Papalii played off the interchange bench and scored a try in the Kangaroos 22–18 Four Nations final loss over New Zealand at Westpac Stadium.
- Nine NYC-winning Warriors named in Jnr Kiwis NRL.com, 6 October 2010
- Junior Kiwis dominated by NYC Grand Finalists rleague.com, 5 October 2011