High-flying Isaako wants to be next Folau
Jamayne Isaako has been tagged as the new Israel Folau and the Brisbane winger has revealed how he intends to follow in the dual international's footsteps in the NRL.
Broncos legend Steve Renouf said in a recent NRL Podcast that Isaako reminded him of Folau with his ability to get up high above the pack and take bombs.
The four-time Brisbane premiership winner said there were also elements of Folau in Isaako's running game where his giant quads and powerful sidestep make him a dangerous broken-field runner.
Isaako's bomb catching skills came to the fore again in the 34-20 loss to Melbourne when he leapt high to catch a high ball before throwing an overhead ball for James Roberts to score the opening try.
"I always looked up to Izzy and watched him closely when he played for the Broncos, and before that at Melbourne," Isaako told NRL.com.
"He was someone I idolised and who I've always wanted to play like. To be classified [by Renouf] as someone who plays like Izzy really boosts me to want to be that type of player as well.
"Izzy had that ability to get up under the ball and score and set up tries off the back of it."
It looks natural but Isaako revealed he had "never been naturally good at jumping for the high ball".
"Coming here to Brisbane it is something I have worked a lot on and [assistant coach] Kurt Richards has helped me a lot over the last three years."
Isaako is off contract and his manager Jim Banaghan recently said the plan was to re-sign with the Broncos.
Brisbane captain Darius Boyd also told NRL.com that Isaako's best position long term would be fullback, but the young winger said his desire to stay at the Broncos would not be diminished by not getting to play there in the short term.
"I had a good year at the Souths-Logan Magpies last year playing fullback and that is definitely where I'd like to play long term in the NRL," Isaako said.
"At the moment Darbs is there and I back him to do the job because he is one of the best in the game.
"I am a young gun growing into my role week-to-week on the wing. Watching Darbs is helping me grow and learn about the position I want to play and he's helped me a lot with positional play and with the right lines to run."
Isaako has been a standout for the Broncos this year but learned a lot from his one below-par Telstra Premiership game against the Newcastle Knights.
"I spoke to the coaching staff and I needed to work on my carries and running the ball straight and harder, and that's what I have been working on ever since the Newcastle game," he said.