Fiery Warriors front-rower Sam Lisone is learning how to get up for the week to week grind of the NRL even on days when he is lacking in fire and brimstone.

With just 31 games under his belt, Lisone has kicked on after last year's rollercoaster rookie season saw his form hit highs and lows through his initial 19 first grade appearances.

The 22-year-old is growing accustomed to the demands of first grade and is reveling in his role as one of the side's three interchange props, with coach Andrew McFadden issuing him a simple brief: Rip in on both attack and defence.

Lisone has always enjoyed throwing himself into tackles and returning serve on opposition ball-runners, but is learning how to better maintain a baseline of energy and aggression each week.


"I'm learning how to build up for it (games) because some days you don't feel like that," explained Lisone.

"But how do you bring out that energy when you don't really feel like that?

"Last year, I was pretty good at the start but then fell deep. This year it's just about being consistent.

"I'm slowly learning more each week, getting the hang of the game and learning when and where to rest.

"I was just running around like a headless chicken and trying to get into anything and everything. Now I'm just a bit smarter with my energy."

In an age when everything about the NRL is growing increasingly sanitized, Lisone is something of a rugged throwback to a bygone era of rugby league.

He is relaxed and offers frank and honest opinions devoid of clichés, but carries an imposing no-nonsense presence that fits with his reputation as one of the side's enforcers.

"That probably comes back to growing up as an Otara boy on the rough side of the tracks," explains senior prop Jacob Lillyman.

"He doesn't have much of a handbrake the young fella. He just plays that tough uncompromising footy.

"He's not the biggest guy in the comp but plays above his weight and really sets that tone for us in the middle.

"You need a few of those players in your team and he's been massive for us this year."

Midway through the season, Lisone admits his fearless approach to the game requires him to manage various niggling injuries each week, but you won't find him complaining.

The game takes its toll physically, but he understands his privileged position as a professional footballer and knows life could be a lot harder as a member of the general workforce.

"The game now, it's so hard and fast," he said. "The body's pretty sore, knocked up a bit, but that's what comes with the job.

"But it's better than sweeping factories."

McFadden is pleased with Lisone's progress and believes his confidence has grown parallel to the team's recent improved form.

"Every time he comes on to the field he just gives us a burst of energy and he trains exactly the way he plays," said McFadden.

"His consistency over the last five or six weeks has been terrific. So long as he maintains his standards and doesn't let that drop then I can see that continuing. He's such an important part of our side."

Sam Lisone Bio









Rep Honours:

Toa Samoa (2015)

Junior Club:

Otara Scorpions

NRL debut:

Warriors v Knights, Hunter Stadium (round one, 2015)