Jarome Luai has quit Penrith and will join the Wests Tigers at the end of the 2024 NRL season.
The three-time Premiership winner has ended months of speculation by confirming his move to the Tigers at a press conference in Sydney this afternoon.
Luai will remain with Penrith for the upcoming season.
“The obvious reason was that it’s a great opportunity to provide and create for my family but also to create something for myself,” Luai said.
“I’m really excited about it. I’m excited about the challenge as well… I’m always backing myself to win no matter where I go. Hopefully I can bring that belief to the boys in 2025.”
Luai said he was not offended when his Penrith coach Ivan Cleary said it would be a risk for any club to take him on as their chief playmaker.
“Not really – he wasn’t lying,” Luai said.
“It’s a risk to pay someone any amount of money based on what you think they’re going to be… but I’ve got full belief of what I can do and what I can bring.
“It did shock me a bit but he wasn’t lying, no hard feelings.”
Wests Tigers head coach Benji Marshall believes the addition of Luai will be great for the club.
“We are super excited to announce the signing of Jarome for the 2025 season on a five-year deal,” he said.
“His experience as a genuine premiership-winning playmaker will be great for us and the future of our club.
“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.”
Luai confirmed he made the decision “not too long ago” and had been the “toughest decision” he’s ever made.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.