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Troy Whittaker

Paulo joins Gutherson as Eels co-captains

Junior Paulo has been promoted to co-captain Parramatta in the NRL with Clint Gutherson. (AAP)

A "passionate" Junior Paulo is intent on helping Parramatta reach the next level as NRL premiership contenders after being promoted to the co-captaincy alongside Clint Gutherson.

The NSW State of Origin prop was surprised when coach Brad Arthur revealed he wanted him to form a leadership partnership with his good mate Gutherson.

Gutherson began his tenure sharing the captaincy with Beau Scott and Tim Mannah in 2018 but the fullback has led the Eels to the finals as their sole skipper for the past three seasons.

Paulo (2026) and Gutherson (2025) both re-signed on long-term deals over the summer.

"I'm just so passionate about our team," Paulo, 28, said on Friday.

"It becomes a real care factor about finding ways to be better and finding what didn't go right and how we address that coming in the next morning when we all have recovery.

"I always have that belief and (know the) capability of what our team can produce.

"It's more so finding what it takes to take our team to the next level and becoming premiership contenders. That's what we're aiming to do."

A proud Gutherson said he was excited to continue developing with the aid of Paulo.

"You never know everything. I've always said that as a captain," the 27-year-old said.

"I've been captain for a while now and you never know if everything is right or wrong. I like to go out there and try things; if it doesn't work you learn like that.

"It's sort of 'act first and learn from it later'.

If I've learnt anything over the last few years, it's how to be professional all the time and being able to turn up week in, week out.

"With June (Paulo), it adds a lot more to our team.

"He's played at the highest levels for a long time now, and to have that experience with a young squad that we've got is going to be valuable."

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