9 Nov 2019

An emotional week for Kiwi Jamayne Isaako

10:36 am on 9 November 2019

Sitting next to his terminally ill father while he underwent a chemotherapy treatment session set the tone for an emotional week for Jamayne Isaako.

Jamayne Isaako is congratulated after scoring a try for the Kiwis.

Jamayne Isaako Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Now the Kiwis winger wants to honour his dad with a fitting performance in the second Test against Great Britain in his home town of Christchurch.

Big numbers from Isaako's wider family will be in the stands tonight but the most important figure for the Brisbane Broncos flyer will be father Taai, who was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer in May.

"That'll be huge motivation for me," Isaako said.

"Dad was at every single one of my games last year in Australia and then obviously coming down with terminal cancer, he didn't get the opportunity to come and see any games this year.

"To come back home to Christchurch and be able to play in front of him is huge for me."

The 23-year-old paid homage to his father in June by representing Samoa in their Test against Papua New Guinea in Sydney.

A day later, he learned Taai had been given only weeks to live.

Twice-weekly chemotherapy sessions have become part of Isaako senior's routine and his son appreciated the chance to sit through it with him on Monday. The pair also planned to spend time together on a team day off on Thursday.

Isaako is playing his first big match in Christchurch since leaving the city where he grew up supporting the Crusaders and was a college rugby union star.

Dreams of becoming an All Black veered off course when he attended a training camp staged by Cronulla scouts and he played two seasons at junior level in Sydney.

The 2018 Dally M rookie of the year has since forged a regular spot on the Broncos wing and was thrilled with his latest milestone, a maiden Test try in last week's tense 12-8 win over the Lions in Auckland.