Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Isaah Yeo made his NRL debut in 2014 and has since played 138 games for the Penrith Panthers.
Although he has consistently remained one of the club’s best players, he is yet to receive representative honours beyond City V Country Origin.
In 2020, standout players such as Apisai Koroisau, Villiame Kikau and Nathan Cleary have garnered deserved praise for their efforts. Isaah Yeo on the other hand has likely gone unnoticed simply due to the fact that he is playing as he always does, consistently at an elite level.
After 12 rounds Yeo is excelling in multiple areas, including his tackle efficiency rate which sits at 94.5% with 498 tackles made and his average metres gained per game, a stat currently at 145.6 metres per game.
At 25-years-old, Isaah Yeo still has plenty of time to break through the glass ceiling and into a New South Wales Blues jersey, however based off of his career to this point he should have an Origin credit to his name already.
Speaking to @JoelJimmySEN, Isaah Yeo reveals his Origin ambitions are outweighed by his desire to lead the Panthers to a premiership.
— Penrith Panthers (@PenrithPanthers) August 3, 2020
The main thing that has held Yeo back from a rep opportunity to this point is the depth New South Wales have in the second row position, the Dubbo native’s primary position. Incumbents Boyd Cordner, Tyson Frizell and Wade Graham are very hard to compete with in terms of challenging for a position in the Blues’ lineup, not to mention players such as Angus Crichton and Ryan Matterson having stellar seasons in their own right.
Yeo could still fit into the mould in Brad Fittler’s side though as a bench utility player. He can play just about anywhere in the forwards as he has proven in 2020 by frequenting the lock position and also has experience in the centres.
Victor Radley was the frontrunner for this role until he suffered a season ending ACL injury in late June against the Dragons, thus opening up a spot that Yeo is more than capable of filling.