NRL Rd 2 - Titans v Eels
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Junior Paulo of the Eels takes on the defence during the round 2 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Parramatta Eels at Cbus Super Stadium on March 22, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Wrecking ball forward Junior Paulo has re-signed with the Parramatta Eels.

Eels' fans have been waiting with baited breath on the decision from Paulo following a somewhat disastrous start to their negotiation period.

The club have however confirmed that Paulo has locked in an extension until the end of 2026 with the Eels.

The four-year contract extension means Paulo will spend the next five years playing in the heart of Western Sydney.

Since November 1, the club have only managed to re-sign Clint Gutherson and Reagan Campbell-Gillard. The salary cap has bitten the club hard though, with Marata Niukore (New Zealand Warriors), Isaiah Papali'i (Wests Tigers) and Ray Stone (Dolphins) all officially moving on, while Reed Mahoney has also reportedly signed a deal with the Canterbury Bulldogs.

That move is as good as official, with Phil Gould confirming he and Viliame Kikau had signed four-year deals with the club which will see them both remain at Belmore from 2023 through until at least the end of 2026.

Paulo was the biggest start left off-contract out of Brad Arthur's squad, and the Eels were desperate to land his signature, with the Dolphins thought to be their biggest competition.

The veteran prop, who played for New South Wales this year, told the club he would test the open market in the lead up to November 1

Paulo has played a grand total of 177 NRL games during his time with the Eels and Raiders, while he has also played six games for New South Wales and nine Tests for Samoa.

The prop re-signing with the Eels is another crushing blow for Wayne Bennett and the Dolphins.

They have only signed two recognised players, with Felise Kaufusi and Stone joining, and were desperate to sign Paulo after recently missing out on props Christian Welch and Patrick Carrigan.

Eels General Manager of Football Mark O'Neill said Paulo is an asset to the club.

“Junior is not just a skilful front-rower, he is an asset to the Club both on and off the field. His selection into the NSW Origin team is a testament to his ability and the hard work he puts into his game," O'Neill said.