Naiqama signs with Panthers

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The Penrith Panthers have continued on their signing spree snapping up Newcastle Knights back Wes Naiqama on a two-year deal, beginning in 2013.

Overnight at the inaugural Penrith Panthers Fan Forum, General Manager Phil Gould told supporters he had acquired the services of a new player that day (Naiqama) and that a “few more signings would be announced over the next few weeks.”

Naiqama, who’s also made a name as a prolific goal kicker, debuted for the St George-Illawarra Dragons back in 2005 before moving to the Knights in 2008.

He’s played 113 career games for 31 tries and 108 goals.

During his time at the Knights, the Fijian international played 75 games, regularly in the centres or at fullback but injury and form has impacted his game time in 2012.

Penrith Panthers General Manager Rugby League Phil Moss said: “Wes is a quality player with a wealth of experience. He’ll add great depth to the Panthers back line and we’re excited to see what he’ll bring to our club.”

Newcastle Knights CEO, Matt Gidley, wished Naiqama all the best at the Panthers.

“We would like to thank Wes for his contribution to our club over the last five years,” he said.

“Wes leaves with our best wishes and we hope he can recapture some of the form he has displayed throughout his time at our club, in his new environment at Penrith.”

It is expected Naiqama will move straight into Penrith’s strengthening 2013 back line that now features Lachlan Coote, Josh Mansour, Michael Jennings, Dean Whare and Brad Tighe. 

Naiqama will play out the season with the Knights and join Penrith on November 1, 2012.

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