Jarome Luai signs five-year contract deal with Wests Tigers, Penrith Panthers

Jarome Luai’s time at the Penrith Panters has come to an end with the five-eighth reportedly putting pen to paper on a bombshell new deal with the Wests Tigers.

Speculation has run rampant over where Luai’s future may lie since the NRL season came to an end, but it now appears locked in.

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The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Chammas broke the news on Saturday morning that Luai has inked a mega deal to join the Tigers on a five-year deal worth more than $6 million.

Luai had been linked to the Tigers over the past couple of months, with last season’s wooden spooners able to offer the premiership winner considerably more money than the Panthers were able to.

The news of Luai’s signing comes hot on the heels of turmoil striking the club after the entire board was sacked following a scathing club review.

Wholesale changes were made to the club’s board structure which included chairman Lee Hagipantelis and chief executive Justin Pascoe both stepping down.

Interim CEO Shane Richardson remained confident the board axing wouldn’t hinder their abilities to lure Luai away from the Panthers.

“I’ve made my feelings on Luai well-known for a long time,” he said, also praising Warriors prop Addin Fonua-Blake who will become available at the end of the 2024 season and wants to return to Sydney.

“In my opinion, he was the best young half coming through, he’s proven at the highest level as the best young half coming through.

“Not only that, he’s a great team leader. That Penrith side revolves around Luai.

“He’s a great person off the field despite what many media people like to try to make out. You couldn’t meet a better person than him.”

The signing comes after the Panthers were reportedly willing to increase the length of their offer to retain his signature.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the club was looking to add a third year to their two-year $850,000 offer.

Despite the club aiming to up its offer it wasn’t enough as Luai elected to take the longer term deal which will see him join the million-dollar NRL club.

His new deal will pay him $1.2m over the course of five years.

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