There are so many parts of the Issac Luke story you don't know. One of them is how he approached Michael Maguire earlier this season about this being his last at South Sydney.

''My wife's from Brissie,'' the hooker says. ''We love it up there. My missus started getting homesick. I asked what she wanted to do. She said, 'Eventually, I want to go back to Brisbane.' I said I would play out these years and see how we go.''

If his wife Mikayla - mother of his son Adaquix, 7, and Ava, 3 - wanted to leave, Luke would follow.

Luke, contracted until the end of 2015, approached Maguire, who has become fundamental to his emergence this season, to discuss the crossroads he was at.

''I pulled Madge in straight away,'' Luke said. ''He said, 'What do you want to do?' I said, 'I've got to work. I've got to put food on the table for my kids.' It was like Benny Barba. You can't leave your children. They're part of my life, my daily routine. I would sacrifice everything for them.''

Sitting in the grandstand at Redfern Oval on a spring afternoon, Luke's potential departure from Souths is merely one surprise of many during our interview.

Luke has appeared to want to maim his fellow players with cannonball tackles and tried to break the leg of his cousin Rangi Chase during an international between New Zealand and England. He has been stood down for breaking curfews, and can be so aloof with the media it borders on arrogance.

So here it is. All the stuff you didn't know about Issac Luke.

■ He borrows his guitars from Russell Crowe, and then plays Little River Band songs on them.

■ When Luke was 14 and growing up in Hawera - a bruiser of a town in New Zealand's North Island - he was the designated guitarist at his parents' parties, when everyone stood around and sang.

■ He did a school project on The Eagles and can play almost every song in their discography. ''Music is my home away from my footy. It's somewhere where I am really relaxed. If I'm not with my babies. My wife and kids. I don't really tell people I play. I haven't had a jam for a while. I've been focusing on my job - as a footballer and a father.''

■ He has a son named after Atticus Finch, the fictional lawyer in Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird. ''Adaquix Jeremiah,'' Luke says, explaining the different spelling, which he doesn't really need to do because it's tattooed on his right arm.

Then he starts talking about Cameron Smith, who some believe hasn't been as influential for Melbourne Storm this year as Luke has been for South Sydney. ''I respect the man that much - as a player and a person,'' Luke says. ''The things he does in rugby league. The things he's done in the modern-day era.''

Ever said that to him? ''Nah. I'm too shy.''

He has outplayed Smith this season. Consider Luke's numbers and that of the Storm captain. He has run exactly 2100 metres - to Smith's 1571. He has made 76 tackle busts - to Smith's 35. He has made 237 runs - to Smith's 185.

He also has performed at key moments in big matches. In the qualifying final against the Storm in the opening match of the finals series, Rabittoh Sam Burgess went close to scoring, and Luke's nippy service out of dummy half sent Jeff Lima over.

Tell him that he has played better this season than Smith - the Kangaroos and Queensland hooker - and Luke won't have it.

''He's been a massive role model in my life,'' he says. ''I watch all of his videos. The things he does. His ability to control a game. Hopefully I will get there one day. Every time I come up against him - I reckon I've come up against him more than any other hooker, because of Tests against him - it's the ultimate test.''