The Penrith Panthers have signed Gold Coast Titans centre Jamal Idris in a shock deal for the next three NRL seasons.
Idris informed the Titans yesterday that he wanted to return to Sydney, despite having three years remaining on his contract at the Titans.
The Panthers confirmed a short time ago that Idris would be joining the club immediately.
“It is a major coup to recruit a player of such a high profile and tremendous ability,” said Panthers boss Phil Gould.
“Jamal will be a wonderful acquisition for Penrith, both on and off the field.”
Idris will return to Sydney next week after being granted the release by Titans CEO Graham Annesley.
“We are dealing with people’s lives and at times, we have to put the best interests of people first,’’ said Annesley.
“Jamal has a really close relationship with his family and we respect his desire to spend more time with them in Sydney.
“Jamal has been great on and off the field during his time at the Titans and while we’re disappointed to see him go we fully understand and appreciate his personal circumstances.”
23-year-old Idris – who weighs in at almost 120kgs, played one Test for Australia in 2011 and made his State of Origin debut for NSW in 2010.
He made his first grade debut playing for Canterbury in 2008.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here at the Titans and I’m grateful that the club has favourably considered my request for a release,’’ said Idris.
“For personal reasons, I have decided it would be best to be closer to my family as my mum has been ill for the past year and it’s been difficult living interstate.
“I wish the club all the best and am looking forward to the opportunity with the Panthers.’’
Following the deal with Idris, the Panthers have agreed to release Brad Tighe, who will now join the Titans.