BREAKING – The $6 million man: Luai leaving Panthers after signing long-term mega deal with rivals
Jarome Luai is leaving Penrith with the star five-eighth agreeing to terms at Wests Tigers on a multimillion-dollar deal over five years.
The 26-year-old NSW and Samoa representative had been offered a two-year deal to remain at Penrith with the three-time premiers hampered by a tight salary cap and unable to compete with rival bids.
Canterbury were also in the race for his signature but Luai has opted to join new coach Benji Marshall’s Wests Tigers rebuild following two straight wooden spoons.
He will see out the final year of his Penrith contract before making the switch in 2025.
Penrith deemed him worth a deal around $850,000 but the Tigers have locked him into a five-year arrangement worth $6 million, as first reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Marshall is believed to have promised Luai the No.7 jersey to take on a chief playmaker role after spending his career as a second option behind Nathan Cleary at the Panthers.
The Tigers have signed veteran Aidan Sezer to provide stopgap reliability alongside young prospects Jayden Sullivan and Latu Fainu next season in the halves.
Penrith have the nucleus of their premiership squad re-signed long term in Cleary, Isaiah Yeo, Brian To’o, James Fisher-Harris, Dylan Edwards, Moses Leota and Liam Martin.
They have also said farewell to back-up playmakers Sean O’Sullivan and Jack Cogger in recent seasons and have a young five-eighth coming through their ranks in former NSW under-19 representative Jack Cole, who is in line to inherit the No.6 jersey from Luai.