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NRL forward Josh Papalii is a certified Canberra Raiders legend and a guy who celebrated his 250th game for the club over the weekend.
The 30-year-old made his first-grade debut in 2011 and has played his entire career at the Raiders, making the weekend’s milestone game an extremely emotional one.
So emotional that Papalii revealed that the lead up reduced him to tears.
Big Papa runs out for his 250th 👏👏👏— Fox League (@FOXNRL) May 22, 2022
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In his post-match interview with Fox League, he said: “Yeah that was a tough one bro.
“We are finally stringing it together and it is very pleasing to see.
“I love this club with all my heart and it is just a good way to bring up 250.”
He added: “Yeah I cried all week.
“Just reminiscing on what got me here. My parents’ sacrifice. My wife, my kids.
“It has been an emotional week, bro.”
The occasion went as close to perfect as possible for the New Zealand-born player, as he helped his side to a 32-12 victory over South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The milestone seemed to add an extra pep to his step as he made 132 metres, four tackle busts and a linebreak.
Papalii capped off the game with a try scoring effort, making for his second in two weeks, however, he maintained it was his team’s hard work that got him there.
He continued: “I’m just lucky I was in the right spot at the right time.
“It has just been an emotional week and now I get to sit back and enjoy it with the boys and have a few cold ones.”
The Raiders have had a mixed start to their season with five wins from their first 11 games, however, have turned it around in recent weeks scoring decisive wins over the Bulldogs, Sharks and now the Rabbitohs.
They find themselves just outside the top eight as they head into the Origin period that kicks off in just a couple of weeks.
With his 250th game, Papalii has become Canberra’s third most-capped player of all time, sitting behind Jason and Jarrod Croker.
Papalii revealed he would be celebrating the occasion with those family members that have sacrificed so much for him.
He said: “My wife and kids are waiting at home.
“This is my time with my family and I can’t wait to get back home and spend it with my loved ones.”
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