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Raymond Faitala-Mariner as a young Warrior in 2015.

He might only have one NRL game to his name, but Raymond Faitala-Mariner has been wowing crowds with his talents off the field for years now.

A highly-rated talent in the Warriors' Holden Cup and NSW Cup squads since his NYC debut in 2012, Faitala-Mariner could just as easily have pursued a different high-profile career.

Former Warriors NSW Cup manager Wayne Floyd recalls a trip to Sydney last year when Faitala-Mariner's musical talents were first revealed. 

"We were staying in Sydney and they had a grand piano in the mezzanine floor," Floyd told

"This beautiful music was coming out of there and I wondered who it was.

"It was Ray playing and all the staff had come out from the lobby and were just bloody awestruck; a guy sitting there in his training shorts and a singlet playing. 

"It was pretty cool really. We didn't have a clue about his talent prior that."

Twenty-one-year-old Faitala-Mariner, who made his debut in the second half of last week's loss to the Titans, said these days music is his outlet from footy and home life. 

"I play a little bit of piano, but mainly church songs, none of this R'n'B stuff!" Faitala-Mariner said.

"[New Zealand musical trio] Sole Mio are my cousins so I do have a musical background.

"We have a piano at home so whenever I have an argument with my siblings at home I just go out to the garage and play the piano. It takes my mind off things.

"I'm the second youngest with five sisters, I grew up being the only boy."

The shot at NRL level came as a surprise to Faitala-Mariner, who looked at the club's depth in the back row this year and didn't fancy his chances of cracking the top grade.

"To be honest last year when the Warriors signed up Jayson Bukuya I thought my chances of cracking the NRL would be limited," he said.

"Same thing when I heard they were signing Hoffy (Ryan Hoffman) and Bodene (Thompson).

"There is a lot of depth in our team but not much experience, so having Bodene and Hoff there has been good, I have learned a lot off them.

"But my main focus was to get a shot at the Warriors, leaving the club wasn't in the mind yet."

Meanwhile Faitala-Mariner is relishing the chance to play alongside childhood friend Sam Lisone at the Warriors, with the pair spending years together at junior club the Otahuhu Leopards.

"It's always been a goal for me and Sam when we were young to play NRL together," he said.

"The weekend just gone by was a lot of emotion but we tried to put it aside and I was happy to play with Sam by my side.

"Sam was younger than me but he was that good he played a year older and played with me."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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