Isa sees profit in utility tag

Willie Isa played in several positions last season
Willie Isa played in several positions last season
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Willie Isa is happy to be Wigan’s handy-man again in 2017.

The utility forward operated at second-row, loose-forward, prop and even centre during his 30 games last season.

While he concedes his wing days are behind him – the position he played when he arrived in Super League with Castleford – the 28-year-old is content with the utility tag, if it assures him a place in the side.

Isa said: “I’m happy anywhere in the 17, I’ve always said that.

“I’ll find my place in the forwards, in the back row or the middle, I even filled 
in at centre last year.”

Isa hopes his versatility helps secure him a spot for the opening game at Salford on February 11. Shaun Wane has England internationals Liam Farrell and John Bateman and fit-again Joel Tomkins as second-row options.

Captain Sean O’Loughlin has the No,.13 shirt, though the lines between loose forward and prop have blurred in recent years, with all grouped as ‘middles’ - an area where Wane has an abundance of talent.

“I’ve always said I want to play in the forwards,” said Isa. “I think it’s good to be adaptable, and many of the players here are.”

Isa is preparing for his second season with Wigan, having moved from Widnes a year ago.

“Nothing surprised me, it was just pure hard work,” Isa said of his first season at the club.

“The only thing that surprised me was the depth of the squad, because the young fellas came in and did a great job.

“We’ve got a great leader here in Shaun Wane, he directs everyone - not just the playing group - and I like the honesty here.”

Meanwhile, the new Super League season will officially be launched with a media event at Leigh’s Sports Village today.