Arriving at the Eels from the New Zealand Warriors, Papali'i is a promising recruit who adds further backup to Parramatta's middle forwards.
Although beginning life as an edge player at the Warriors, he spent most of 2020 in the middle of the field, often coming from the bench.
He possesses intelligent line running, quick footwork and offers ball playing skills.
One of the major issues in Parramatta's bench during 2020 was a loss of aggression and ball skills when Junior Paulo and Nathan Brown exited the fray.
With the game speeding up even further in 2021, it's hard to imagine those players churning out longer minutes than they did in 2020 so a suitable backup is required.
While Papali'i doesn't possess the size of Paulo, he does possess plenty of aggression and his ball playing skills mean he can fill the ball playing gap left by Parramatta's two NSW Origin representatives.
His lack of size could also work in his favour given the speed of the game, although at 108kg he's not the smallest middle by any means.
He will be in an interesting battle to snag a bench spot with Oregon Kaufusi and Marata Niukore also vying for the middle bench role.
While both Niukore and Kaufusi put in big efforts in 2020, Papali'i may be seen as a point of difference to call on from the bench, so it could be left to Niukore and Kaufusi to battle it out for the same spot.