I really hope our bench next year consists of a hooker, 2 props and Papali'i. I feel like he has a higher ceiling than Tevaga, and hopefully will end up our fulltime lock once Blair is shuffled along.VODAFONE WARRIORS SECURE PAPALI’I UNTIL 2020
Vodafone Warriors 2018 NRL Rookie of the Year Isaiah Papalii has capped a memorable week in his career by re-signing with the club until the end of the 2020 NRL season.
On Monday the promising second rower, just turned 20, was named in the Kiwis’ squad for the coming four-Test campaign against Australia and England as well as being selected for the Junior Kiwis for their clash against the Junior Kangaroos in the Trans-Tasman Triple Header at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday, October 13.
Today he signed a deal which will take him through to a fourth NRL campaign with the Vodafone Warriors after impressing throughout his first full first-grade season.
He joins other young Vodafone Warriors products David Fusitua, Ken Maumalo, Jazz Tevaga and Bunty Afoa who have all recently re-signed.
“Isaiah is a great young prospect who has quickly established himself at NRL level,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney.
“He’s a wonderful example to players aiming to make it into the NRL coming through our system. He really impresses with his attitude and resilience.”
Papali’i finished his first full NRL season with 20 appearances taking his career tally to 25 after making his debut last year.
Used mainly as a starting second rower on the left edge, Papali’i averaged an impressive 64 minutes a game this year plus 78 metres and 29 tackles along with five try assists.
He made his international debut for Toa Samoa in this year’s Pacific Test against Mate Ma’a Tonga.
He'set to join the Kiwis in camp in Auckland this weekend.