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Kiwis rookie Isaiah Papali'i.

They were some 18,695 kilometres away but Isaiah Papali'i's family lounge room would have erupted in the early hours of Monday morning with the Warriors prop stepping onto the paddock for his Kiwis debut.

He only managed 12 minutes in the Kiwis' 34-0 shutout of England but his name even managed to get on the scorecard with a late conversion in front of the posts.

Papali'i joins his mother Lorina, a former Kiwis Ferns player who played for more than a decade, as the first mother-son combination to represent New Zealand in rugby league after their similar effort at the Warriors this season.

The 20-year-old choked up when speaking of his achievements after the game.

"I can't really put it into words," Papali'i told

"I grew up watching her play rep footy and it was always a dream of mine to follow in the footsteps she paved. She did lots of tackling, she was always smiling.

"She had quite a successful career with the Ferns, just going full blast for the whole 80. Both my parents just said do what you do best."

Papali'i reflects on Kiwis debut

After a sombre pre-game with the Remembrance Day commemorations, the former junior Kiwis forward got to live out a childhood dream and sing the national anthem before performing the haka.

"I enjoyed it, there were a bit of nerves," Papali'i said.

"I was trying not to get the actions wrong, I was at the back watching everyone else. I was full of energy and excited to have a crack.

"When I finally got the call to go on I wasn't too nervous because the boys had the momentum. To do that is something I'll remember for the rest of my life."

Kiwi Ferns and Warriors star Lorina Papali'i.
Kiwi Ferns and Warriors star Lorina Papali'i. ©NRL Photos

The time spent away from family and friends on overseas tours can sometimes affect players, particularly those of a young age who don't get a game throughout the tour.

Papali'i insisted the team environment had made the experience a welcoming transition into the international setup and a chance for the squad to set a new standard with a combination of experience and youth moving forward.

"I really enjoyed every moment I've spent on the tour," Papali'i said.

"It hasn't been too hard, just being around the boys and have the opportunity to come away with them is special in itself. I haven't looked at it as a hard thing to do to watch the boys.

"It's definitely refreshed us, we learnt from what the World Cup gave us. We've reset the bar now for the three years ahead."

Isaiah Papali'i in his Kiwis debut against England.
Isaiah Papali'i in his Kiwis debut against England. ©Bernard Platt/NRL Photos

"That's the future of where we're going with this team," Maguire said.

"I made some changes due to circumstances with Simon Mannering retiring, Russell Packer, Ben Matulino, they've had their time in the jersey and left it in place for these younger guys to take over.

"To be able to leave the jersey in a better place when you played is a big part of what representative football is about. To see Isaiah come in and be extremely hungry, that's the future of where we're going."

Match Highlights: England v Kiwis - Third Test

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