Wests Tigers' $6 million Jarome Luai dilemma amid bombshell Lachlan Galvin reports

Galvin was dealt a cruel setback after a blistering start to his NRL career.

Teenage playmaker Lachlan Galvin's stunning start to his NRL career has thrown up an awkward situation at the Wests Tigers, in the wake of Jarome Luai's signing. Penrith's three-time premiership-winning five-eighth Luai is set to join the Tigers from 2025 on a massive five-year deal worth a reported $6 million.

But the emergence of 18-year-old Galvin, who has been highly impressive in his first three NRL games for the Tigers, has left many questioning what the signing of Luai will mean for the young gun. It comes after Channel Nine league reporter Danny Weidler revealed on Tuesday that Galvin's management team had actually held discussions with the Tigers about seeking a move away from the club after Luai signed.

Pictured left to right are Jarome Luai and Wests Tigers rookie Lachlan Galvin.
Jarome Luai's arrival at the Wests Tigers in 2025 has thrown up questions about what it will mean for boom rookie Lachlan Galvin at the NRL club. Pic: Getty

The rookie No.6 wasn't even viewed as the first-choice five-eighth to partner Aidan Sezer in the halves before the season, with recruit Jayden Sullivan widely tipped to be given the nod. But Galvin impressed the Tigers coaching staff in pre-season and coach Benji Marshall had enough faith in his young playmaker to thrust him straight into first grade and a starting role at the club.

“There was a lot of niggling by his agent in the background to try and get him out of the Tigers,” Weidler told the Big Sports Breakfast radio show on Tuesday morning. “I think there were as many as three release requests by his management throughout the off-season. Weidler confirmed that was because the Tigers had signed Luai and Galvin seemed to be a fair way down the pecking order.

“Even on the first day that (interim Wests Tigers CEO) Shane Richardson moved into his new job with the Tigers, the first thing that happened was Lachie Galvin’s agent was on the phone to him asking if they can move out,” Weidler added.“He’s obviously going to have up-and-downs but he’s shown a cool head, strength and backs himself. It’s good to see the Tigers stuck to their guns.”

As well as Sezer and Sullivan, the Tigers also signed promising young halfback Latu Fainu from Manly, and have injured playmaker Adam Doueihi working his way towards an NRL return. When Luai does join next season, it's going to present Marshall with a pleasant selection headache.

Seen here, Lachlan Galvin playing for the Tigers against the Eels in the NRL.
Lachlan Galvin has been superb in his first three games in the NRL for the Wests Tigers. Pic: Getty

Lachlan Galvin's form sparks questions around Jarome Luai

Speaking about the situation on NRL 360 on Monday night though, NRL great Cooper Cronk and Paul Kent both suggested that Galvin's emergence has shown the Tigers don't really need Luai. “The interesting thing about this is that next year, the Tigers have a $1 million five-eighth arriving in town. I don’t think they need him with the way this kid is going,” Kent said.

Cronk added: “It’s a good point because Jarome has come in as the sole ball-player, and what Sezer and Galvin have put together shows it is an unnecessary requirement." Veteran league journalist and fellow panelist Phil Rothfield said with Sezer only signed on a one-year deal at the Tigers in 2024, it's his belief that Galvin will partner Luai in the halves next season.


“I would think this far out, you’d be looking at Galvin at halfback next year with Luai at five-eighth. There’s no other way of looking at it,” Rothfield said. “It’s really, really encouraging. I didn’t think they’d do a lot this year. I tipped them to win the spoon and I’m happy to be proven wrong.”

Galvin was again instrumental for the Tigers on Easter Monday, setting up two tries in their thrilling 17-16 win over Parramatta. However, the 18-year-old's sublime start to his NRL career suffered a cruel blow after he was sin-binned for a hip-drop tackle that is set to sideline the rookie No.6 for two games.