Jarome Luai confirms Wests Tigers move and massive $6m contract

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
04/01/2024
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Luai announces intention to move to Wests Tigers

Jarome Luai called his own press conference on Wednesday to announce his move from Penrith Panthers to Wests Tigers. 

News Insights

  • Media have speculated for months where Jarome Luai would play next.
  • Luai called a press conference on Wednesday to reveal he will join Wests Tigers in 2025.
  • Luai’s contract with Penrith Panthers expires at the end of the 2024 NRL season.
  • Wests Tigers have signed Luai to a five-year deal worth $6 million.

After months of speculation, we finally know where Jarome Luai will be playing in the 2025 NRL season. Where is that exactly? He will be a Wests Tigers player.  

Luai announced this move to the media himself at a snap press conference on Wednesday.  

Luai announces Wests Tigers move in shock press conference

So, without further ado, for 2025, I’ll be heading to the Wests Tigers to continue my career.” Those were the words Jarome Luai said to assembled media at a press conference he arranged on Wednesday. No doubt Luai’s words were not as catchy as Lebron James’ “taking my talents to South Beach” line from his infamous ‘The Decision’ television special, but they were just as meaningful.  
 
With those words Luai put to bed months of speculation about his future. According to the 26-year-old five-eighth, ending the speculation is exactly why he “went rogue,” as some people are calling it, and arranged his own press conference. 
 
I've definitely gotten a lot more attention than what we would have liked these past few months," said Luai. “The purpose of this [press conference] was to clear everything up and get everything out of the way out of respect and courtesy for the year ahead for my team and my teammates in 2024.” 
 
Penrith Panthers are reportedly very unhappy with Luai’s decision to announce his move so publicly outside of club channels. Officially, Panthers have stated that “the club believes that as a three-time premiership player and international representative, Jarome has earnt the right to explore the open market and although the club is disappointed by the outcome, it respects Jarome’s choice.” 

Wests Tigers rebuild gets its centrepiece

Wests Tigers finished bottom of the 2023 NRL ladder last season, and most top betting sites predict they will finish in a similar place during the 2024 NRL season. Because of this, the club has decided to undergo a massive rebuild on and off the pitch. Signing Luai is the biggest move Tigers have made so far during their rebuild.  
 
Tigers boss Benji Marshall, who is a club legend at Tigers, said “We are super excited to announce the signing of Jarome for the 2025 season on a five-year deal…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.” 
 
In addition to being excited about the move now, Marshall was a big reason why Luai even decided to join Tigers. “I’ve had a great connection with Benji,” said the star five-eighth. “We’ve spoken about the future and what he sees in me and moving forward, and I’m really excited about it.” 

Luai’s Wests Tigers contract worth $6 million

A lot has been said from Luai about why he wanted to move to Tigers from Panthers. Above all though, is the money.  
 
Luai’s contract with Tigers, which will start in 2025, is reportedly worth an astonishing $6 million. The club has announced it is a five-year deal, meaning Luai will be one of the top five highest paid players in the NRL.  
 
The current Panthers player admitted finances contributed to his decision. “The obvious reason was it was a great opportunity for me to provide and create for my family, and also to create for myself,” said Luai. 

In addition to turning down the opportunity to stay at Panthers, Luai also reportedly rebuffed Bulldogs, who had offered him a contract worth $750,000 less than Tigers’ offer. Neither Bulldogs or Panthers were aware that Luai would announce his move to Tigers on Wednesday.