BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 03: Jamayne Isaako of the Broncos runs with the ball during the round nine NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium on May 3, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 03: Jamayne Isaako of the Broncos runs with the ball during the round nine NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium on May 3, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Isaako eyes big positional switch

JAMAYNE Isaako is being groomed as Brisbane's long-term fullback option but the future has arrived according to the winger.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold is expected to make wholesale changes not only to his top 30 roster but his best 17 over the upcoming pre-season.

One of those moves will be in the No.1 jumper and Isaako, 23, is determined to win the position over veteran custodian Darius Boyd and Anthony Milford.

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"It's going to be a pretty big year in terms of positional changes within the team and we know the coach will be making a few changes when the season starts," Isaako said.

"I'm not too sure at the moment [where I will play], I want to get through the Nines and then the Test matches and then worry about club footy once all that is done.

"Whether I play on the wing or at the back next year, that's a conversation I need to have with the coach."

Fullback is Isaako's preferred position - he was named Queensland Cup Fullback of the Year in 2017 during his time at the Souths-Logan Magpies.

Since making his NRL debut at the back in 2017 - his one and only game that season - the Aranui Eagles junior has only played three other games at fullback.

Isaako wants to play fullback next year. AAP Image/Darren England.
Isaako wants to play fullback next year. AAP Image/Darren England.

"I debuted at fullback for the Broncs, it's not a position that I am unfamiliar with and I played all my Queensland Cup football at fullback so hopefully I can crack that spot there next year for the Broncos," Isaako said.

"It's definitely my preferred position, I never played on the wing until my opening season last year so I'll be looking to get back there next year for sure."

A standout performance from Isaako during the World Cup Nines for New Zealand will be his first chance to press his case to Seibold.

The previous stranglehold skipper Boyd had on the position forced the point-scoring machine out onto the wing in 2018 and 2019.

Despite being in a new position, Isaako finished season 2018 as the game's top point-scorer and was awarded the Dally M Rookie of the Year award.

A slow start to this year's campaign for the Broncos finally forced Seibold to switch Boyd from fullback into the halves in round 15 with Anthony Milford replacing the skipper in the back field.

Isaako has played most of his NRL career on the wing. AAP Image/Darren England.
Isaako has played most of his NRL career on the wing. AAP Image/Darren England.

But Seibold's impending pre-season positional shake-up could see the Broncos field a relatively new-look back five combination - especially if Isaako is handed custodian duties.

It's a move that could squeeze Boyd out onto the wing or even out of the best 17 players.

It also opens up an opportunity for the likes of Xavier Coates, Gehamat Shibasaki and Izaia Perese to press their claims for regular starting spots.

Winger Corey Oates is a free agent in less than two weeks as his protracted contract negotiations continue with the club.

But utility Jack Bird is now likely to see out the final year of his deal at Red Hill and should hold down a centre spot if can remain healthy in 2020. The marquee signing has only played 17 games in two seasons.

Melbourne halfback Brodie Croft had a meeting with Seibold in September about a touted move north to Brisbane.

His signing will only add another piece to Seibold's roster puzzle during the pre-season.

News Corp Australia


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