Brisbane's Jamayne Isaako has been left heartbroken after news of his father's tragic passing.
Taai Isaako sadly lost his battle with cancer ahead of the Broncos' Friday night clash with Melbourne.
The winger has been granted compassionate leave as he attempts to head back to his native New Zealand to farewell his dad.
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Brisbane have thrown their support behind Isaako, who posted an emotional tribute on social media to a man he described as his "rock".
"My heart is broken," Isaako wrote.
"You are my rock and my hero! No words can express how much this hurts and how I'd give anything to hear your voice once more but Gods army gained another brave and lion-hearted soldier today and I know you'll always be looking down over us.
"You put up one hell of a fight and fought right to the very end despite what anyone said or thought and now you don't have to suffer anymore pain.
"Couldn't have asked for a more loving and caring father I'm so honoured to have called you my dad.
"I love you more than you'll ever know. Till we meet again."
Isaako’s father was told last year that he only had weeks to live after a cancer found in his nose, spread to his brain and other parts of his body.
The Broncos star told NRL.com last July that his father had been undergoing chemotherapy and was responding well to the treatment at the time.
“He’s definitely inspiring me. When I went back home, the club gave me however long I needed and I was planning on staying until I knew he was stable.
“He sat me down and spoke to me and he wanted me to come back to Australia. That’s why I came back earlier than expected. He motivates me to keep training and playing and the last two weeks since I’ve been back it’s really shown.”
Fans have been quick to pay their condolences to Isaako and his family, over their devastating loss.
My sincerest Condolences to Jamayne Isaako, man that sucks. Poor guy.
— Wally (@KingWallyy1) July 20, 2020
Given the exceptional young man Jamayne is, Taai must have been one hell of a father 💔
"My heart is broken" - Jamayne Isaako has paid tribute to his father Taai, who lost his brave battle with cancer today via @telegraph_sport @dailytelegraph https://t.co/Sw0IzER3rI pic.twitter.com/Y4YrQ8qwiS
— Fatima Kdouh (@FatimaKdouh_) July 20, 2020
— James Halliday (@JHalliday84) July 20, 2020
It’s easy to forget these guys are more than footballers. They’re someone’s son, brother, father. And he’s just lost his. My frustration with the broncos needed this simple reminder. Thoughts with the Isaako family
— Voice of Reason (@VoiceofTC) July 20, 2020
May god rest his soul. Condolences to the isaako family
— Carlos junior (@Carlos2Q) July 20, 2020
Broncos with a growing number of absentees
Already facing a test of depth after Corey Oates (leg) became the latest injury list addition last round, the Broncos now appear to be scrambling for 21 fit players before naming their squad on Tuesday.
In another blow for the battling club, incumbent fullback Tesi Niu is "very likely" to undergo surgery after scans revealed he had suffered wrist cartilage damage in their last round 48-0 thrashing from Wests Tigers.
Under-fire coach Anthony Seibold has reacted by switching pivot Anthony Milford to fullback, halfback Brodie Croft to No.6 and young gun Tom Dearden to No.7 judging by Monday's training session.
Oates' injury and the suspension of veteran hooker Issac Luke (dangerous throw) this week took the Broncos' list of unavailable players to 16 before Niu and Isaako were also sidelined.
However, some players look set to return with Kotoni Staggs (hamstring) and Herbie Farnworth (cork) training at centre and on the wing respectively on Monday.
Hooker Jake Turpin (broken leg) also took part in the session and may be named on the bench as back-up for Cory Paix who looks set to be the starting rake against Melbourne.
Brisbane are desperate to reverse their fortunes after reports that they will need to win five of their remaining 10 games for Seibold to keep his job.
Last round's debacle against the Tigers marked the third last Broncos' seventh loss in eight games.