Jamayne Isaako reveals Kiwi snub prompted Samoa switch
Brisbane Broncos flyer Jamayne Isaako has revealed his New Zealand snubbing by coach Michael Maguire prompted his switch to play for Samoa against Papua New Guinea in this year’s Representative Round.
Isaako was named in New Zealand’s preliminary squad for the clash with Tonga but didn’t make the final cut.
Despite being born in Christchurch and previously playing two Tests for New Zealand, Isaako is eligible to represent the Pacific Island nation on the back of his father’s heritage.
The 23-year-old also revealed he was firmly in Samoa coach Matt Parish’s plans and jumped at the opportunity to represent his heritage.
“I spoke to Madge and he gave me a call on Sunday and just said that I wasn’t in that final 19 man squad which is fair enough,” Isaako said.
“I understand I haven’t been playing up to scratch this year and haven’t been playing how I was sort of was last year.
“In saying that he excluded me from that 19 man squad and I thought that it was a good opportunity to put my hand forward for Samoa.
“Obviously speaking to Matt he had big plans for me being in this Samoa line up.
“Any opportunity I get to represent either of my countries, I always wanted to put my hand forward.”
Isaako became the second player this season to make the switch from the Kiwis to Samoa, following in the footsteps of Martin Taupau.
After winning the Dally M Rookie of the Year award last season, Isaako hasn’t quite had the same start to 2019 coinciding with the Broncos below average form this season.
He has played 38 games for the Broncos and scored 11 tries since first debuting in 2017.
Samoa play in PNG in a Pacific Island double header following Fiji’s clash with Lebanon at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday at 7:55pm AEST.
Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.