The Penrith Panthers were on the hunt for a top back rower and they have got their man with the signing of Isaiah Papali’i.

Papali’i, who was granted an early release from the final year of his contract with the Wests Tigers has signed a three year deal with the Panthers from 2025.

From a Tigers perspective, this is strictly business as they look to clean up their salary cap.

“This is purely about getting our salary cap in better shape and it’s not a simple thing to do,” said Tigers CEO Shane Richardson.

Tigers coach Benji Marshall backs Papali’i to do his job for the remainder of the season and praised the back rower for his efforts.

“Isaiah is a quality person and a tremendous footballer,” Marshall said.

“He is a man of high integrity and strong principles, and I know he will continue to live by our standards until he leaves at the end of this season.”

Papali’i drew strong praise from those at the Panthers when talking about his signing with them from 2025.

“Isaiah is a talented player, displaying not only exceptional skills but also a great attitude and work ethic,” Panthers General Manager of Rugby League Shane Elford said.

“We believe he will thrive in the Panthers system and we’re eager to see his continued career progression at our club.”

Papali’i is a former Dally M back rower of the year and has previously played for the New Zealand Warriors and the Parrmatta Eels.

By ricky

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