Willie Isa would love to see more international games in rugby league

Willie Isa Wigan SWpix
Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix

Wigan forward Willie Isa says playing more international rugby league matches is the way to grow the game and take it to new audiences.

The former Samoa international, who is now part of the leadership group at Wigan, believes international rugby league is the key to the game moving forward.

Isa says he would love to see northern hemisphere nations travel to face their southern counterparts in a mid-season window; and vice versa.

“I think rugby league is in a good way but we’ve got a long way to go in terms of making this sport bigger in England,” Isa said.

“If you want to talk the international game, I genuinely think there should be an international week. I’d love to see the whole lot – England, Ireland, Wales – down there for two weeks in the year.

“I genuinely think if you want England to improve then you’ve got to play teams down there. I love the All Stars concept, I’d love to see Lancashire v Yorkshire back, why not? Why are we trying to shy away from that? The more we push the boundaries you don’t know how far this game could go.

“Traditionally it is club rugby league and I’ll never go away from that. But if you’ve want England, Samoa, Ireland and Wales to be competitive then you’ve got to do it.

“We want them to be on the world stage”

“We’ve got Irish guys in our team – Liam Byrne – we want them to be on the world stage and if they are on the world stage, then Wigan wins.

“He is advertising Wigan, we want to see the good work we’ve put in Liam Byrne expressing himself in Ireland. By going Down Under, Ireland playing against Samoa would be packed. It would be a good advertisement and Wigan people should be proud to see their guys represent Wigan.

“In my opinion, I don’t think they have done the right thing scrapping the international stuff (in the NRL) next year. I don’t think it is the right way to go.”

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About Drew Darbyshire 8177 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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