Wests Tigers decision to spark bidding war for Isaiah Papali’i

24/05/2024
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Isaiah Papali’i to leave Wests Tigers in 2024

Isaiah Papali’i’s current contract with Tigers expires in 2025. The club have granted early leave amid a total squad overhaul

News Insights

  • Papali'i is set to leave Tigers in 2024.
  • Tigers formally gave Papali'i permission to leave the club over a month ago.
  • Papali'i joined Tigers in 2023 as one of that offseason’s biggest moves.
  • Panthers, Sea Eagles, and Bulldogs all are reportedly interested in signing Papali'i.

Wests Tigers have granted second-rower Isaiah Papali’i a release from the last year of his contract with the club. According to The Daily Telegraph, this move is the first of many Wests Tigers will make before the start of next season amid a total playing squad overhaul. 

Isaiah Papali'i to leave Wests Tigers 

Isaiah Papali'i is under contract with Wests Tigers through 2025. However, the club are allowing the star second-rower to leave the club this offseason, in 2024, instead. The 25-year-old reportedly earns around $750,000, making him one of the club’s highest paid players.  
 
Reportedly, Tigers formally gave Papali'i permission to leave the club over a month ago. The club and player have been working out the kinks of his departure since then.  
 
Papali'i joined Tigers in 2023 as one of that offseason’s biggest moves. The second-rower had reached great heights in a two-year stint with Parramatta Eels and looked primed to take another step up with Tigers.  
 
Unfortunately for both parties, Papali'i under-delivered at the club and is now set to leave this offseason.  

Bidding war for Papali'i expected 

Despite his poor form since joining Wests Tigers, Papali'i is expected to be one of the most in-demand players this offseason.  
 
Penrith Panthers, Manly Sea Eagles, and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs all are reportedly interested in signing Papali'i this offseason. With so many clubs interested, there could be a bidding war for the Kiwi’s signature.  
 
Panthers could be the most desperate to sign the second-rower after losing James Fisher-Harris to the New Zealand Warriors and their failed attempt to sign David Fifita from Gold Coast Titans.  

One thing that could cool offers for Papali'i is the number of other second-rowers set to be on the market. Sydney’s Angus Crichton and Sitili Tupouniua will also be free agents this offseason.  

Other Tigers departures 

If the recent reports around the club are to be believed, Isaiah Papali’i is not the only big name who will be leaving Wests Tigers in 2024. The club is reportedly set to completely overhaul its playing squad after finishing back to back seasons as Wooden Spoon winners.  
 
Jayden Sullivan, Charlie Staines and Brent Naden are some of the other many players who could be on their way out of the club this offseason. 

Wests came into this season as one of the betting sites’ favourites to win the Wooden Spoon again. They are two points above bottom heading into this week’s Indigenous Round matches. The Tigers face off against North Queensland Cowboys on Friday night at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium. 

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