Player Raymond Faitala-Mariner


Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
League: Warriors rookie battles big odds for his dream
By David Skipwith
5:00 AM Saturday Jun 13, 2015

Raymond Faitala-Mariner (left) will make his first start in Warriors' colours against the Roosters tonight. Photo / Getty Images

If medical experts had their way, Raymond Faitala-Mariner would have quit playing league a long time ago and forgotten his dreams of playing for the Warriors in the NRL.

During his teenage years, doctors diagnosed the back-rower with bronchiectasis - a lung condition that affects his breathing - and told him he needed to give the game away, as the high-intensity sport wreaked havoc with his health and left him vulnerable to infection.

The disease continues to trouble the 21-year-old Otahuhu Leopards junior but it hasn't stopped him from achieving his goals, and today he'll make his second NRL appearance and first start in Warriors' colours.

"I was always sick and then they didn't find out until years later what my sickness was," Faitala-Mariner explained.

"I'm easily prone to getting chest infections so there was a period there when I was 16-17 when the doctors told me to cut league off and stop playing.

"It was really hard for me because I didn't want to stop. It's always been a dream for me ever since I was young to play for the Warriors and hearing that from the doctors was a bit disappointing and discouraging.

"I was always short of breath," he said. "I still get troubled by it but I have breathing exercises that I have to do every night before I sleep just to clear my lungs."

The talented ball-player always had big ambitions but, perhaps due to his condition, was unable to impress junior representative selectors until he was 18.

He eventually won a start with the Warriors NYC side in 2012 and impressive showings during the 2013 season saw him promoted to the Vulcans before he was upgraded to a fulltime NRL contract.

He remained a stand-out performer in the NSW Cup and made his NRL debut off the bench in the Warriors' Anzac Day clash against the Gold Coast, before finally winning a starting berth for today's game, as a fill-in for NSW State of Origin back-rower Ryan Hoffman.

"I'm more of a runner or strike player but I'm just working on things the coach wants me to do so I can stay in the team," he said. "He [coach Andrew McFadden] gave me goals to work on while I was playing NSW Cup, to be strong on defence.

"I always look for the big play on attack, so he was telling me not to think about the offloads and just run hard and tackle hard. That was his main message. To 'be a wall' were his exact words."

His inclusion means disruption for the starting left-edge for the first time this season, but five-eighth Chad Townsend is confident Faitala-Mariner can slot in comfortably.

"We've been pretty lucky as a left-edge to have the same group for the whole first half of the season which has definitely helped us grow our combinations," said Townsend.

"We've seen that with a couple of tries we've scored down that way, so we've been blessed about that and with Ray coming in we're looking for him to do a job this weekend.

"He's obviously a big fella and runs some pretty good lines so I'll be looking to utilise his best qualities."

The young rookie has other talents off the field too, and from all reports is a highly skilled piano player, and musical ability runs in the family.

"Sole Mio [New Zealand musical trio] those are my cousins so I guess you could say I'm from a musical background.

"I play a little bit of piano but it's mainly church songs, none of this R'n'B stuff.

"We have a piano at home so whenever I have an argument with my siblings I'll just go to the garage and play.

"It takes my mind off things," he said.


1st Grade Fringe
Jul 28, 2012
He didn't do himself any favours last week. Looked lost defensively, though he certainly wasn't on his own in that department. "Be a wall" Cappy said. Maybe he forgot to tell RFM that the strongest walls are connected to and alligned with the other walls around it.
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Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 13, 2014
Another strike only player, but this time one with dodgy lungs... I feel a charitable need to have him in the team now, just so that he can have his dream...

Ahhh, the life of the guilty unconscious...


Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Builder's deal sealed Raymond Faitala-Mariner's New Zealand Warriors career
Last updated 05:00, June 21 2015


The Warriors have a south Auckland builder to thank for the emergence of Raymond Faitala-Mariner as one of their top prospects.

Faitala-Mariner was one of the Warriors' standout players in their 25-21 loss to the Roosters last weekend and he made his third appearance for the club in Saturday's game against the Titans on the Gold Coast.

After a nervous debut against the Titans in Auckland on April 25, the second-rower looked assured against Roosters, and the 20-year-old looks destined to have a long NRL career. It all started with a deal his father made with a builder seven years ago.

"I started playing league when I was 14 for the Otahuhu Leopards," Faitala-Mariner said.

"I wasn't going to play league, my dad is a union fan.

"But we had a house extension and the builder was the manager for a junior club at Otahuhu and he told my dad that he'd give us a discount if I play for his team, so dad said OK and he forced me to play.

"I didn't want to, but played in the end and we got the discount. It all started from there for me, really.

"There was no looking back from there, I loved league. I was more involved and there was more action."

Rugby's loss has been league's gain, and Faitala-Mariner has moved steadily through the Warriors system to become a player with a high work-rate who seems to relish the big collisions.

However, in his debut in round eight, a defensive error by him led to one of the Titans' tries.

"It was a big occasion that time, it was Anzac Day," Faitala-Mariner said.

"After that game, Cappy (Andrew McFadden) gave me some goals to work on and I've been working hard and got rewarded last weekend with a start.

"It was better than my first hitout against the Titans," he added.

"I was more confident going into this game and there were some big shoes to fill with Ryan Hoffman out because of Origin.

"I guess that was the difference between my debut and the game last week – I was more confident."

After that first game against the Titans, Faitala-Mariner was sent straight back down to reserve-grade footy.

He admits he found that demotion tough to handle, but he knew the level to where he needed to raise his game.

"There was good and bad about it," he said of getting dropped.

"I was gutted that I wasn't going to play the following week, but I was also excited to improve on what I needed to improve on."

Faitala-Mariner hopes to spend the rest of the season playing first-grade footy and he should be a handy player to have on the interchange bench.

He is in the last year of his Warriors contract, but they have an option on him for 2016.
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Iafetas Kickstand Wang

1st Grade Fringe
Jun 21, 2012
I'd be taking up that option for 2016. He's not going to cost much, and it could be worth it to see where he develops.
He was terrific last night. I thought he was much better in his second game as well. I wouldn't worry too much about the option, give him a fresh 2 year contract. The guy has always been loaded with talent, the question was whether he could transfer it to first grade. He had a few little issues to iron out but from what I'm seeing he's doing that. I also hear he's a bloody good trainer with a great work ethic.

Jordan G

He was terrific last night. I thought he was much better in his second game as well. I wouldn't worry too much about the option, give him a fresh 2 year contract. The guy has always been loaded with talent, the question was whether he could transfer it to first grade. He had a few little issues to iron out but from what I'm seeing he's doing that. I also hear he's a bloody good trainer with a great work ethic.
Sold. Sign him up.

I get the impression Maumalo is very similar. While I don't like him as a winger, I do really like what I've seen of him in regards to his attitude on the field (which hopefully is backed up by his attitude off it.)
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Far Away Fan

Huge rap for RFM ar the end of this article:

Hey who’s that guy? Raymond Faitala-Mariner
While there is plenty of hand wringing at Origin time about the impact that it has on club sides as key players miss games, one positive is the opportunity it presents to young players.

Warriors back rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner is one such fringe player who has benefited from the opportunity. Primarily a NSW Cup player since moving out of the Under-20s competition at the start of 2014, Faitala-Mariner has played five games in first grade this year, most of them during the Origin period as Hoffman missed time for the New Zealand side.

While his raw numbers on Sunday afternoon were not as impressive as his previous outing in first grade against the Titans, Faitala-Mariner played nearly a full 80-minute game and had a number of key involvements to demonstrate that he belongs in first grade.

Faitala-Mariner is off contract at the end of the season and is still only 21 years old, the age at which many forwards begin to thrive after adding a layer of toughness in reserve grade. It will be no surprise if another team attempts to pinch him this off-season with the lure of more playing time. <<<

Whilst another team can't pinch him for 2016, because we have an option for another year, with the Hoff only one year into his three year deal, we're really going to want RFM as a Warrior way into the future. I'm guessing that negotiations for a long-term deal are ongoing.
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Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Thread has been forgotten but its important to add this to it. Wishing RFM all the best. He'll thrive under Hasler who will unleash what this club couldnt...

Player swap with Bulldogs complete
Tue 5th April, 02:10PM

Contract negotiations have been completed for a player swap resulting in giant Canterbury Bankstown back rower Shaun Lane joining the Vodafone Warriors in exchange for second rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner.

The 1.98cm Lane (21) and Faitala-Mariner (22), who were both off contract at the end of the 2016 season, have been granted immediate releases to join their new clubs.

They both made their NRL debuts last year, Faitala-Mariner going on to play 11 times after his debut in round eight and Lane appearing in each of the Bulldogs’ last 14 matches of the season (scoring five tries) including their two finals games against St George Illawarra and the Sydney Roosters.

Lane, signed by the Vodafone Warriors on a one-year contract, wasn’t used by the Bulldogs in the opening rounds of this season while Faitala-Mariner appeared once for the Vodafone Warriors against Brisbane.

“This outcome is mutually beneficial for both clubs,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.

“Ray had been seeking a release but we weren’t prepared to allow him to move until we were able to find a suitable replacement.

“In Shaun we have a player who brings the qualities we were after to strengthen our squad.

“We thank Ray for the contribution he has made to our club and wish him all the best for the future.”
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