He's in the middle of a breakout season with the Warriors but like most young athletes, Isaiah Papali'i owes a lot to his mum, Lorina.
But not many know the 19-year-old got here by following in mum's footsteps.
Lorina played in World Cups with the Kiwi Ferns and Samoa in rugby union – an experience her cheeky son remembers a lot differently to her.
“I just remember standing on my doorstep whinging that she was leaving for camp on certain weekends,” Papali’I said.
After playing 16 years, she retired in 2010, but recently at a funeral for her old Richmond club coach, she got talking to former teammates about the new Warriors women's team.
“The girls are like, ‘you can go back LorI’. I was like, ‘Yeah. Ok!’”
And the comeback is on - at 41-years-old she's already back in the Auckland team headed for the national tournament this weekend - a huge chance to impress the Warriors.