Isa’s got a new role

Willie Isa
Willie Isa

Willie Isa is enjoying learning a new role – in the second-row.

The Samoan international was recruited from Widnes to bolster the ranks in the middle.

But with Liam Farrell injured, he has filled in on the left-side and he is slowly getting used to the position.

The 27-year-old said: “People think I play second row but it’s new to me.

“This is the first time I’ve played there, apart from one game at Castleford when someone went off injured and I moved there.

“I always knew what the role entailed but executing on it is different. But I’m enjoying it and hoping to do my job well.”

Isa started his NRL career as a winger or centre, and played in the back-line at Castleford.

He switched to the midde – loose forward or prop – while at Widnes, where he caught Shaun Wane’s eye.

He said: “I still prefer it in the middle, and I’ve said to the boss, ‘I’m happy, but I’m a different player when I’m in the middle!’

“But I’m happy doing what I can for the team. I said at the start of the year I want to prove myself to my team-mates and that’s my job.”

Farrell’s absence to a rib injury has been compounded by the ‘unavailability’ of John Bateman, who sat out Friday’s 23-20 win at Salford in wake of the off-field drama a week earlier.

Wane hasn’t said whether he will return to face Hull KR this Friday and, with Joel Tomkins preferring a role in middle as he manages a knee problem, the coach has a shortage of second-rowers to choose from.

Greg Burke or Ryan Sutton, also more comfortable in the middle, may be asked to switch after both had spells there last Friday.