Wigan Warriors have confirmed that experienced head Willie Isa will be sticking around for another year, with the forward penning a one-year extension to his deal.
The 34-year-old arrived at the DW Stadium ahead of the 2016 season, and is just one game away from making his 200th appearance for the club.
Auckland-born Isa has seen his playing time reduced this year through injury. Returning from a two-month lay-off with a hamstring problem back in July as the Warriors beat Hull KR, the former Samoa international picked up a pectoral injury which needed surgery, and hasn’t featured since.
He was off-contract come the end of the year, but a key part of Matt Peet’s leadership group, the boss has stressed how important it was to tie the veteran down and take him into what will be a ninth season with the Cherry and Whites in 2024.
Matt Peet highlights importance of experienced forward penning new deal
Peet himself is just five years senior to the second-rower, who joined Wigan following a four-year stint at now-Championship outfit Widnes Vikings
Cherry and Whites chief Peet told the club’s website: “Willie Isa is a crucial member of this team and I am delighted he has committed to the club.
“He has put in some excellent performances this year and he continues to drive standards on and off the field.
“We feel his presence will be essential, with the introduction of some new players from our academy and from other clubs. His leadership and guidance will help show them the expectations of the club.”
Willie Isa to head into ninth season with Wigan Warriors
Making an NRL debut for Penrith Panthers back in 2008, New-Zealand born Isa joined Melbourne Storm ahead of the 2009 season.
He would move over to England and join Castleford Tigers ahead of the 2011 season, and 12 years later, he’s still here with the Warriors.
A two-time Grand Final winner, the forward lifted the Challenge Cup for the first time last term, albeit not featuring in the final win over Huddersfield Giants.
Having put pen to paper on his extension, Isa said: “I’m happy to continue the journey with the Club and build on the years of hard work and love for the team.
I am always grateful and privileged to be in this position and I’m really looking forward to getting back out on the field with the team soon.”