TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 09: Liam Martin, Junior Paulo and Jake Trbojevic sing the anthem before game one of the 2021 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on June 09, 2021 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

New South Wales State of Origin forward Junior Paulo has officially committed to Samoa for the 2022 Rugby League World Cup.

Paulo played all three games for the Blues in this year's Origin campaign, and alongside Payne Haas, would likely have been included in Mal Meninga's squad to travel to England in October and November, with the Kangaroos looking to defend the crown they won in 2017.

However, Paulo has become the latest player to deflect away from the Kangaroos, adding yet more strike power to a rapidly growing Samoan cause.

Paulo follows the lead of Josh Papalii, Brian To'o and Jarome Luai - all Origin players who have decided to play for the Pacific Island nation in recent times. Stephen Crichton is still yet to commit either way, while a host of other players could yet turn out for Samoa.

Samoa are looking to repeat the feat of Tonga at the 2017 World Cup, when they made the semi-finals, with this year's tournament in England shaping up as the most competitive in history.

Paulo said he was torn between the two nations, but ultimately chose Samoa.

“Gus Gould really hit the nail on the head when he said, ‘What nation do you cry for when you sing the anthem,’” Paulo told 9News.

“That plays a big part for me, and for me that’s being proud of my home, and that’s Samoa.”

Paulo, Papalii, To'o and Luai will join others who played for Samoa in a mid-year Test victory over the Cook Islands, including the likes of Luciano Leilua, Martin Taupau, Jaydn Su'A, Anthony Milford, Taylan May, David Nofoaluma and Jazz Tevaga among others.