Warriors forward Isaiah Papali'i.

Promising forward Isaiah Papali'i has been ruled out of the New Zealand Warriors' opening round clash with Canterbury on Saturday after being stood down for a drink-driving offence.

Papali'i will serve a one-match club-imposed ban after failing a police breath test while leaving a concert in Gisborne on January 1.

The Warriors had advised the NRL Integrity Unit of details of the incident, which resulted in Papali'i receiving an infringement notice.

It is understood that the 20-year-old was still within a parking compound when he was breath tested.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney confirmed Papali'i's unavailability for the Bulldogs game and was at pains to emphasise it was a club issue.

Warriors CEO Cameron George said the club was determined to act on indiscretions which contravened standards.

"We expect better from our players and anyone who falls short of our standards will be appropriately dealt with irrespective of the time of year or their standing within the club," George said.

"Isaiah is extremely remorseful for his actions. He feels like he's let his team-mates, the club, our fans and his family down. 

"He is now determined to win back their respect and will also be fighting hard to earn back his spot in the team."

Papali'i made 20 NRL Telstra Premiership appearances in the forward pack last year, despite still being a teenager in just his second season of first-grade. He also earned a Test debut for the Kiwis against England.

Warriors forward Agnatius Paasi admitted Papali'i's omission was a blow.

Match: Warriors v Bulldogs

Round 1 -

Full Time
Warriors

Home Team

Warriors

Scored 40 points
Bulldogs

Away Team

Bulldogs

Scored 6 points

Venue: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS

"He's a different kind of player, he is moving in from the edge, so this would have been his first taste [in the middle]," Paasi told NRL.com.

"He's a great player, he's got a lot of energy that he brings to the game, so it's a bit of a loss.

"I'll be looking forward to playing with him next week, hopefully he makes that team."

The loss of Papali'i increases the likelihood of off-season recruit Lachlan Burr earning a club debut, and could also see Jazz Tevaga promoted to the starting side to play in the second row or at lock.