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Wests Tigers make Greg Inglis revelation amid $6 million signing of Jarome Luai

Shane Richardson has drawn parallels between the Wests Tigers signing of Jarome Luai and Souths' scalp of Greg Inglis.

Jarome Luai pictured left and Greg Inglis right
Interim Wests Tigers CEO Shane Richardson believes the signing of Jarome Luai is similar to that of when Souths convinced Greg Inglis to join. Image: Getty

Interim Wests Tigers CEO Shane Richardson has declared that Jarome Luai is a "diamond" of a signing and is a similar level acquisition as Greg Inglis to Souths. Richardson described Luai as a "game changer" and believes he can change the trajectory of the club.

Luai officially made the announcement he was moving to the Wests Tigers on a mega-money deal on Wednesday putting to an end months of speculation. The five-eighth is reported to be on a $6 million contract across a five-year deal, which was significantly more than the Panthers and Bulldogs could offer.

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Richardson, who led several club rebuilds in his lengthy career none bigger than the one that handed Souths its first premiership in 43 years, believes people aren't grasping just how massive the signing of Luai is. The Wests Tigers CEO says he can see parallels between Luai and Rabbitohs legend Roy Asotasi, whose signing from the Bulldogs in 2007 was seen as a significant turning point in Souths' ability to lure top talent to Redfern. But even more so he sees Luai's signing as similar to Inglis.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Rabbitohs General Manager of Football Shane Richardson speaks during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL media conference at Redfern Oval on April 15, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Shane Richardson says every club needs a player like Luai and when he came onto the open market they just "had to get him". Image: Getty (Matt King via Getty Images)

Coming off back-to-back wooden spoons the Tigers have a lot of ground to make up and Luai is seen as the man to begin the club's transformation. The Rabbitohs were in a similarly dire position when they landed Asotasi and when Inglis came everything fell into place.

"Roy was a major part of the statement of the rebuilding of Souths," Richardson told SEN. "He came on board in a similar situation to what Jarome has. But the better example is when we landed Greg Inglis. We were on the cusp when we landed Greg Inglis. The statement he made going to us instead of Brisbane was massive for where we were as a club. From then on, we never looked back."

Jarome Luai and Greg Inglis, pictured here in the NRL.
Jarome Luai and Greg Inglis. Image: Getty

Shane Richardson says every club needs a player who can change the game

Richardson, who was appointed on a six-month contract following the dismissal of the Tigers board in December, says every club needs a player like Luai and when he came onto the open market they just "had to get him". "Why do you sign Daly Cherry-Evans? Why would you sign Adam Reynolds?" Richardson said.

"Every team needs and requires a player who can change the game. They are very few and far between and they are like diamonds when they come up because it’s rare when they do. Especially those with a proven track record of three straight premierships.

"We just had to get him. He’s also a massive coup for us off the field in terms of marketing as well. He’s an exciting person to have on board and he will be a game changer for us."

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