It took a long time, went down numerous paths but it finally has a resolution, with the Canberra Raiders confirming the signing of Joseph Tapine. After a tumultuous period that saw the potential threat of legal action, a breakdown in communication and ultimately a departure, all involved can now put it behind them.
Tapine, still only 21 and regarded as a bright prospect, had his first day at Raiders headquarters today and is ready for the challenge ahead to force his way into the line-up.
â€œIâ€™m really excited to be here. Itâ€™s a new chapter in my life and Iâ€™m just looking forward to getting out there with the boys,â€ Tapine said.
â€œI saw the team play last week and itâ€™s a deadly team. I saw the skills and fitness and Iâ€™m looking forward to being a part of it.â€
The move was made easier knowing that he would play under the guidance of coach Ricky Stuart and alongside two former team-mates in Adam Clydsdale and Joey Leilua.
â€œIâ€™m definitely keen to work with Ricky. Iâ€™ve heard good things about him and I have a couple of mates who play here who have given him big raps,â€ he said.
â€œAdam Clydsdale is my former roommate and Iâ€™m good friends with Joey Leilua, so it will be great for me to have some players I know well here.â€
He is also excited to be a part of the club and to be on the receiving end of good support by Raiders fans.
â€œI remember coming down to play in Canberra and itâ€™s a hard game, the members and fans always come out in force even on a cold day. I canâ€™t wait to be a part of that.â€
With circumstances changing, Raiders CEO David Furner said the opportunity to get Tapine on board at the club one year earlier was too good to pass up.
â€œWeâ€™ve identified Joseph as a player we believe can be a really important part of our squad over the next few seasons and weâ€™re looking forward to seeing him continue his development into a top class NRL Player,â€ he said.
â€œWe had originally signed him on a deal commencing in 2017, but circumstances have given us the opportunity to secure him this season and heâ€™ll boost what we believe is a very strong squad.â€