GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 22: Isaiah Papali’i of the Warriors runs with the ball during the NRL Trial Match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors at GMHBA Stadium on February 22, 2019 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

New Zealand forward Isaiah Papali’i has been made unavailable for selection for the Warriors’ season opener.

Coach Stephen Kearney told that it is a club issue behind Papali’i’s unavailability.

“He’s not [up for selection], no. It’s a club issue, but he will be available for selection next week for sure,” Kearney said.

“He’s not available for selection from a club point of view, but he will be ready for round two.”

Kearney wouldn’t divulge any further details.

“It’s a club issue, that’s the issue,” he said.

Teammate Agnatius Paasi also refused to shed any light on the situation, but did reveal that it was disappointing from Papali’i.

“It is disappointing from his end, because he has let the boys down, and I’m pretty sure he would have loved to have played round one,” Paasi said.

“But his actions led him that way and all we can do is support him and help him and hopefully he will be in the team next week.

“I have [spoken to Isaiah] and just offered my support to him and just seeing if he is alright.

“He’s doing well, that’s the main thing, and I know his family have got his back.”

The Warriors begin their 2019 campaign at home on Saturday afternoon when they take on Canterbury-Bankstown.


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