After learning of Brenton Lawrence’s sudden retirement yesterday, the Gold Coast Titans have today been boosted by the signing of Penrith Panthers prop, Leilani Latu.
Since he made his debut in 2015, Latu has played in 49 games for the Panthers but has been given an early release from his contract to take up a 3-year deal with the Titans.
With issues arising due to their cap and their desire to sign new players, Penrith had to make a decision and that resulted in Latu’s early release.
“Leilani came to Panthers several years ago looking for an opportunity,” Panthers Executive General Manager Phil Gould AM said.
“Since that time, he has worked extremely hard to become a representative class front row forward.
“He has been tremendous for our club and his release from Panthers is purely a salary cap management decision.
“He is a great acquisition for his new club and we wish him well in the future.”
With a new chance to impress, Latu is keen to make the most of his new adventure, particularly with spots up for grabs.
“I’m really looking forward to getting up to the Gold Coast,” Latu said.
“I’ve crossed paths with a few of the guys before so it will be good to play with them week in, week out.
Having worked alongside Titans coach Garth Brennan previously when he was in charge of the Panthers NSW cup side, Latu looks forward to working alongside him once more.
“Of course it’ll be good to hook-up with Garth again,” continued Latu.
“I enjoyed being coached by him before and he always challenges me which is something I’m looking forward to again.
“I had a good look at the roster before making my final decision and I’m excited by what I’ve seen. There are a lot of young boys with bright futures so hopefully, we can do well.”
Brennan is also excited to have Latu on board and knows that he will give the club some starch and punch in the forward pack.
“Leilani is a player with a great attitude and is a great clubman,” Brennan said.
“He’s had three strong years in the NRL and after discussing the prospect of him coming to the club, I know he’s extremely excited about the opportunity.
“He’ll fit into our squad nicely and I’m sure he’ll form a major part of our forward pack for many years to come.”