A few days in Canberra and Junior Paulo is already trying to make an impression at the NRL club.
Without being asked, the former Parramatta prop was seen pulling the pads off the goal posts at the end of training on Thursday and helped staff carry them inside.
“He wants to start,” coach Ricky Stuart laughed.
Paulo has been named as 18th man for the Raiders’ clash with Manly at GIO Stadium on Friday night, but will get a run if the NRL registers his contract in time.
The 22-year-old had to answer a series of questions posed by the league’s integrity unit on Thursday, which they will consider before clearing the deal.
Paulo has had one-and-a-half training sessions with his new teammates, whom he met in the sheds following Sunday’s comeback win over Canterbury.
There had been a rush to get Paulo out of Sydney and away from the Eels after NSW Police officially warned him for allegedly consorting with convicted criminals.
But Stuart, who’s known him since his days at Parramatta, said the 110kg youngster was a “good person” and had already made a smooth transition into the squad.
“You can tell a guy’s character from how he fits in with a new group of players pretty quickly, and he’s done it very well,” he said.
“I’ve been in regular contact with Junior over the last six or eight weeks (and) he’s been very much looking forward to the move to Canberra.
“We’re a club that is very strong on our values and culture and Junior, or anybody else, has to come in and fit in with our culture and our values.”
Stuart said Paulo had latched on to a few of his teammates, but was proud that there were no cliques in his group.
“Everybody’s a part of the gang,” Stuart said.
“We’re the other family for boys. We’re one big family here. You’ve got a very tight group of guys and you tend to fit in very quickly or the boys will drag you along and make sure you do.”