NRL rookie Izaia Perese has served notice that he is ready to challenge first-grade footballers after being charged with drug offences. Parese caught the attention of police after the NRL Nines competition and earned himself a nomination for The Frownlow Medal alongside many established players.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL player Ben Barba is the most recent recipient.
Perese has been stood down by the Brisbane Broncos while police and the NRL Integrity Unit investigate the incident, and he will not play until the investigation is complete.
Like any precocious youth, Perese is confident of winning The Frownlow Medal in 2020, but he will have to have consumed a substantial quantity of hard-core drugs to defeat the other candidates for Frownlow honours, including Jack De Belin, Jarryd Hayne, Manase Fainu and Maika Sivo.