Jarome Luai affirms his transfer to Wests Tigers for the NRL season of 2025.

The driving force behind Jarome Luai’s decision to move from NRL giants Penrith to long-struggling Wests Tigers in 2025 was the opportunity to finally have “the keys to the team.” On Wednesday, Luai, Penrith’s triple premiership-winning five-eighth, announced his plans for the future, putting an end to the biggest trade saga of the NRL off-season. Luai had been linked to both the Tigers and Canterbury for months, as it became evident that the high-flying Panthers would not be able to match the seven-figure salary offered by the other teams. Luai confirmed his move to the back-to-back wooden spooners on a five-year contract and emphasized that the decision was not solely based on finances. According to him, it was about “getting the keys to the team,” which was another motivating factor. Although Luai has yet to be tested as a week-to-week organizing half at the NRL level, he expressed his hunger for more responsibility after serving as a game-manager during Samoa’s journey to the 2022 World Cup final. Luai’s signing is a significant victory for the Tigers, who have struggled to attract top-tier talent during their 12-year finals drought. The Bulldogs were also a strong contender for Luai, especially considering their Penrith alumni connections. However, he ultimately chose the Tigers, influenced in part by his childhood hero and Tigers coach, Benji Marshall, who played a similarly flamboyant role as a five-eighth during his career. Under the new transfer rules imposed by the NRL, Luai was obliged to give the Panthers a 10-day period to convince him to stay. Although Penrith waived that right, Luai will return to training with the team on Thursday after taking a week off before Christmas due to the contract negotiations. As of now, Luai’s halves partner for 2025 has yet to be determined, with Aidan Sezer, Jayden Sullivan, and Latu Fainu expected to vie for the position. Benji Marshall praised Luai’s experience as a genuine premiership-winning playmaker, stating that he will be a valuable asset to the Tigers and the future of the club. While eagerly awaiting the arrival of Jarome and his family in 2025, Marshall emphasized that the focus for now is on the 2024 season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *