Penrith star Izack Tago explains why he is the ONLY player in the NRL still using a Stone Age flip phone: ‘You have to click the button four times to send one letter on a text’
- Penrith Panthers star Izack Tago explains why he uses an old-fashioned flip phone
- The gun rookie has imposed a social media and internet ban on himself in order to focus better
- He says to call or visit friends now and it really made the connections
You’d expect a 20-year-old athlete about to play one of the biggest games of his life to spend a lot of time on his phone, but not Penrith’s Izack Tago — he still has an old-fashioned flip mobile that he barely touches.
The rookie back rower turned center – who will take on the field against Parramatta in Sunday night’s grand final – has imposed a social media and internet ban on himself unlike any other player in the NRL.
Izack Tago of the Panthers goes to Dylan Edwards for a try during the round five game against the Canterbury Bulldogs. It’s a safe bet he didn’t post a video of it on his Instagram story afterwards
Tago took a selfie with a fan’s phone during a workout earlier this week. Tago himself only uses a flip phone because he has banned himself from social media and the internet in order to better focus on being a professional athlete
But Tago isn’t like most stars living on the internet and social media — and that’s where the flip phone comes in.
“It’s one of those phones where you have to click the button four times for one letter,” Tago told the Daily Telegram.
“So I don’t really text either, mostly because I’m not on my phone for long, but because it’s hard to message someone.
“So I have to call, or even visit, whoever I want. It makes my connections more authentic.’
However, it makes it difficult for teammates to communicate with him – even Tago’s skipper Nathan Cleary can’t get a reply to a message.
Tago says he now has to call or visit people he knows, and it has made the connections more authentic
“It’s hard to get in touch with him outside of training because he’s hardly on his phone,” Cleary laughed.
“It’s a good thing, but it’s very unique that such a young guy takes the initiative to break away from the social media world.”
The inspiration for Tago’s decision to ditch the smartphone and stay away from the internet originally came from his desire to keep his place on the Panthers team.
He wanted to limit his distraction from being a professional athlete — and it started with his phone.
“It’s a bit like coming from the social scene first, but I’ve taken the phone business to the next level, in that sense I’m kind of an extremist,” Tago said.
“When I want to do something, I try to do everything possible to limit what I’m trying to lose… so the flip phone keeps me off my phone. I can’t play games, accessing apps isn’t easy.’
Tago is pictured scoring a try against Souths in the Preliminary Final. Tago says life is better without a smartphone and if something is important enough, he will eventually find out
If he doesn’t have a smartphone, Tago misses a lot of footy news, but he thinks if something is important enough, he’ll figure it out eventually.
“It has internet, barely, it’s also hard to use,” he laughed.
“But that’s another reason I have it, I really don’t like paying attention to the outside noise or anything like that.
“So I never read any of it. I only find out during training.’