Paul Turner, Selesitino Ravutaumada and Rocco Berry are three Warriors youngsters to watch out for in the Perth NRL Nines, according to Isaiah Papali’i, the man who will captain the side.
Papali’i said he was excited to be leading a side for the first time since 2016, when he led the Junior Kiwis.
“I’m definitely wrapped about it and excited,” he said.
The 21-year-old felt that the chance to captain came about as Stephen Kearney looked to develop some leaders among the young players.
“I think getting one of the younger players the opportunity to go out there and have this leadership role” was important to the coach, he said.
“It’s not on 13-on-13 - it’s a bit more fun for us players.
“As a captain, I just want to do my role, really.”
A trio of backs are the players Papali’I is most excited to see in the wide open spaces of nines.
“There’s a couple [to watch out for]. I think all the young boys have really stepped up - that’s what has got them this opportunity,” he said.
“Paul Turner, Selesitino [Ravutaumada], I can’t say his last name, it’s Fijian, too long, but him as well, Rocco [Berry] as well.
“I guess it’s looking forward to seeing their speed and skill, 'cause they’re all backs. Obviously with less players on the field there’s more space - so excited for them.”
Berry, the 18-year-old son of former All Black Marty, was signed by the Warriors last year after starring as a fullback for the St Pats Silverstream first XV in Wellington.
Ravutaumada is a speedy Fijian-born winger who completed his schooling at Rotorua Boy’s High School while Paul Turner is a Whangārei-born halfback who spent a year with South Sydney.