Mickey Paea: A Stalwart of Rugby League

Mickey Paea, born on March 25, 1986, in Auburn, New South Wales, has carved out a noteworthy career in rugby league, both in the NRL (National Rugby League) and the Super League. His robust playing style, versatility on the field, and leadership qualities have earned him respect and admiration from teammates, coaches, and fans alike.

Early Life and Junior Career

Mickey Paea’s journey in rugby league began in his hometown of Auburn, where he developed a passion for the sport at a young age. He played his junior rugby league for the Holy Cross Rhinos and Fairfield Patrician Brothers. His talent was evident early on, and he soon caught the attention of scouts, leading to his signing with the Sydney Roosters.

NRL Debut and Sydney Roosters

Paea made his NRL debut with the Sydney Roosters in 2005. His early years with the Roosters were formative, as he honed his skills and adapted to the demands of professional rugby league. Though he had limited game time initially, his potential was clear, and he gradually earned more opportunities to showcase his abilities.

Stint with the St. George Illawarra Dragons

In 2009, Paea moved to the St. George Illawarra Dragons. His time with the Dragons was marked by consistent performances and a growing reputation as a reliable forward. His ability to play both prop and second-row made him a valuable asset to the team. Paea’s work ethic and physicality on the field were instrumental in the Dragons’ forward pack, contributing to their competitive edge during his tenure.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Hull FC

Paea’s next significant career move was to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 2010. With the Bulldogs, he became known for his powerful runs and defensive capabilities. His tenure at the Bulldogs further solidified his status as a formidable forward in the NRL.

In 2013, Paea took his talents to the Super League, signing with Hull FC. His impact was immediate, and he quickly became a fan favorite. Paea’s performances in the Super League were characterized by his leadership on the field and his ability to inspire teammates. His time at Hull FC was highly successful, and he played a crucial role in the team’s forward pack.

Return to the NRL and Newcastle Knights

In 2016, Paea returned to the NRL, joining the Newcastle Knights. His experience and leadership were invaluable to the Knights, particularly in mentoring younger players. Paea’s return to the NRL was marked by his consistent performance and unwavering commitment to the team.

Legacy and Post-Retirement

Mickey Paea retired from professional rugby league in 2018, leaving behind a legacy of dedication, resilience, and sportsmanship. Throughout his career, Paea was known for his hard-hitting tackles, relentless work rate, and ability to inspire those around him. His contributions to the teams he played for, both in the NRL and Super League, are fondly remembered by fans and colleagues.

Post-retirement, Paea has remained involved in rugby league, contributing to the sport in various capacities, including coaching and mentoring young players. His journey from a junior player in Auburn to an esteemed professional in the NRL and Super League is a testament to his passion for the game and his enduring impact on rugby league.


Mickey Paea’s career is a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work, determination, and a love for the sport. From his early days with the Sydney Roosters to his impactful performances with Hull FC and his leadership role at the Newcastle Knights, Paea’s journey in rugby league has been nothing short of inspirational. As a player, he exemplified the qualities of a true rugby league warrior, and his legacy continues to influence the sport today.

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