Wigan Warriors’ Willie Isa discusses what rugby league needs to do to continue its growth

Willie Isa states rugby league needs to do a lot more to showcase itself and believes it doesn’t play to its biggest strength.

The Wigan Warriors second-rower wants the sport to publicise the people involved on a bigger scale, in order to present the personalities of those out on the field.

Isa is positive about the future of the game, but would like to see a number of things done slightly differently.

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“We need to showcase what we’ve got,” he said.

Willie IsaWillie Isa
Willie Isa

People say it’s a northern game, but it’s more than that.

“You can see the effects of the strong derby games, and I’m someone who thinks teams should just play twice a year.

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“It’s about the meaning of it, and if you do it too often it’s natural that it loses that.

“I’m for whatever direction the game wants to go in- we’ve got to enjoy the process.

“I can’t talk on behalf of all the players, but most of us think we’ve got a great product.

“We’ve got athletes who can showcase and advertise our game.

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“We’ve also got characters who come from the working class towns that we are based in.

“There’s a deeper story in each player and I think they need to be told.

“There are people behind each person that drive them to be rugby league players in England.

“We need to grab hold of that and put it in front of people to see what our game is really about.

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“It represents fair and honest people.

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“We need a strong leader to take it forward.

“As players I wish we had an independent union so we can have a say.”

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Rugby league is currently preparing to undergo a period of change under the guidance of IMG.

Earlier this year, the Rugby League Council voted in favour of club grading.

The sport’s decision-making body, which comprises representatives from all three professional competitions and the community game, backed the first recommendation from their strategic partner.

A range of categories will define how Super League, RFL Championship and League One clubs will be assessed starting from 2025, as part of the Reimagining Rugby League plans.