Salford Red Devils-Wigan Warriors preview: Willie Isa's video surprise
Salford have caught the eye all season... but Willie Isa has only been impressed from this week!
That’s because the Wigan forward admits he doesn’t watch rugby league in his spare time.
Isa says he was “a little kid” the last time he sat down in front of a televised game, explaining he finds it impossible to switch off if he tries.
“I don’t watch rugby league to be honest,” he said. “I come in and watch the video in front of me at training.
“I love rugby league, it’s just... if I watch a game, I study. My mind isn’t resting. I have a notebook and pen and write stuff down!
“Don’t get me wrong, if I see a great try – no matter what team – I applaud it, I love rugby league for it, but generally I just don’t watch the game.”
Adrian Lam and his staff have certainly brought him up to speed on what he can expect against Salford today.
Halfback Jackson Hastings has led the Red Devils to four wins from their seven matches with an attractive style of play.
“They’re a very expansive team,” said Isa. “And that’s good because it makes your defence work hard. It’s great for the spectacle, too, because at the end of the day we want to entertain.
“We want to win but we also want to put bums on seats. Salford bring that bit of X-factor and hopefully we bring what we can bring to the party, and it should be a good game for the fans.”
Wigan have lost their last four Super League matches since their World Club Challenge defeat, keeping them joint-bottom of the table on two points.
But Isa echoed coach Adrian Lam’s remarks that their performance against Warrington last weekend could mark a turning point.
“I think we’re on the right track and that’s the most important thing, everyone is buying into what we want to do,” he said.
“If people watched our training sessions you wouldn’t think we were a team that’s lost five times. We are trying, at least. It’s just frustrating.”
Isa marked his 100th Wigan game last year since his move from Widnes – a run which has seen him used mainly as a utility.
But he is get for a prolonged run as a starting second-rower in the absence of Liam Farrell, who is out for another three months with a pectoral muscle tear. Faz is a big loss, he’s a true leader for us,” added Isa.
“He’s probably a bigger loss than people probably think, especially outside of Wigan, some people may not realise how vital he is to our team.
“But he’ll be back soon – I’m just warming his spot for him.”