It went back and forth for some time and many teams were linked to him, but it was ultimately the Penrith Panthers who won the race, with the signing of Peta Hiku on a three-year deal.
With the Manly Sea Eagles confirming his release earlier today, it allowed Penrith to confirm the signing.
Releasing Hiku gives Manly some breathing room with the cap and CEO Joe Kelly praised the utility back for his efforts with the club.
â€œPeta has been a consistent performer at NRL level for the Sea Eagles over a number of seasons and has also represented his country with distinction,â€ Kelly said.
â€œHe is a wonderful young man and has a very bright NRL career ahead of him. We wish him all the best for the future and thank him for his service to the Sea Eagles.â€
Hiku will commence pre-season in January with the Panthers, and his experience adds to the Panthers impressive back-line alongside Matt Moylan, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Josh Mansour.
The signing is one that should please fans it is one that certainly pleased Panthers Executive General Manager, Phil Gould.
“The Panthers are delighted to secure the services of such a well-credentialed representative class player as Peta Hiku,” said.
“We are indeed fortunate that Peta became available at this stage of the year. He will perfectly complement the emerging young players we have here at Panthers.”
Gould praised Hiku and his ability and looks forward to having him at the club over the next three seasons.
“The fact that Peta, at a young age, has forced his way into that tremendous Manly backline and has performed so well on the international stage for the Kiwis is indicative of his tremendous ability,” said Gould.
“At 23 years of age he obviously has the best of his career in front of him and we are excited he is going to be a Panther for the next three years.”