Rugby league: Issac Luke eyes shock Māori All Stars comeback to honour late father's death

Issac Luke playing in the 2021 All Stars match.
Issac Luke playing in the 2021 All Stars match. Photo credit: Photosport

Former NZ Warriors and NZ Kiwis hooker Issac Luke is in line for a shock return to playing, eyeing a place in this year's NRL All Stars clash.  

Luke, 36, retired from the NRL at the end of 2020, after a short stint with Brisbane Broncos.  

However, despite not playing for three seasons, Luke wants to don the Māori All Stars jersey once more, in honour of his late father George.  

George Luke was caught in a slip as Hawke's Bay was hit by Cyclone Gabrielle in February 2023, and died of his injuries in hospital.  

And with the annual fixture between the Māori All Stars and Indigenous All Stars to be played at Townsville's Queensland Country Bank Stadium, the February 16 date would coincide with the one-year anniversary of George Luke's passing.  

Since retiring from the NRL, Luke has made a comeback in the second-tier Queensland Cup with Souths Logan Magpies.  

"If I was to get the chance, I'd be playing for my dad," Luke told 

"I am the second oldest of his children and I spoke to my dad every week, so not being able to have that, it's tough.  

"If I do get the green light [to play] I don't know how I will handle the occasion... but I am blessed even to be considered.   

"[Physically] I'll be good, I have got through the pre-season with the Magpies and have passed everything I needed to."  

Issac Luke already has two appearances for the Māori All Stars, coming in 2020 and 2021.   

Aside from that, he has also made 43 appearances for New Zealand at test level, and made 286 NRL appearances across stints with South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Warriors, St George Illawarra Dragons, and the Broncos.