GG to NRL champion Jarome Luai who has officially announced that he will be moving to the Wests Tigers after the 2024 season.
After months of speculation, Luai confirmed that he was officially making the leap to the Tigers in a press conference on Wednesday, January 3 on a five-year deal that’s reportedly worth $6 million.
During his conference, the three-peat champ labelled the move as the “toughest decision of [his] career and probably life so far”.
“The obvious reason was it was a great opportunity for me to provide and create for my family, but also to create something for myself,” Luai said, as per Nine’s Wide World Of Sports (WWOS).
The Panthers player revealed he has a “great connection” with Wests Tigers Coach and former NRL superstar Benji Marshall and how they’ve spoken about his future in the sport and his new club.
Luai also clapped back at headlines questioning why he would go from three-year NRL premiership winners to the Tigers, who copped the wooden spoon of the 2023 season.
“I’m really excited about it, excited about the challenge, as well. I’ve seen a few headlines about, ‘Who would go from the top to the bottom?’ … and it resonated with me, just because I’m always backing myself to win no matter where I go … Hopefully I can bring that belief to the boys in 2025,” Laui said.
“But for now I just wanted to clear that up and say thank you once again to everyone out there who’s supported and backed me; not just my family, but fans. I do have a lot out there.”
As mentioned previously, Luai will be with the Panthers for the 2024 season, so could he possibly cop a fourth premiership win with the West Syd club — unless the Parramatta Eels nab it, which is my manifestation for this year.
Soon after Luai officially announced his move, Marshall said the club is “super excited to announce the signing of Jarome for the 2025 season”.
“His experience as a genuine premiership-winning playmaker will be great for us and the future of our club,” he said.
“We love the way Jarome plays his footy and even better, he is a great person.
“We very much look forward to welcoming Jarome and his family to our club in 2025, but right now, season 2024 is our focus.”
With his move, Luai will be reunited with other Penny Panthers players including Api Koroisau, Brent Naden and Charlie Staines.
Maybe he’ll prove my headline wrong in 2025. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Image source: Getty Images / Mark Metcalfe