Sunia Turuva to link up with cousin Api Koroisau at Wests Tigers as Panthers exodus continues

The Wests Tigers have won the race to sign Panthers winger Sunia Turuva.

The Wests Tigers have won the race for boom Panthers youngster Sunia Turuva, staving off competition from the Dragons for his signature. The Red V were originally heading the charge for the Fijian international but the Tigers have successfully swooped in, with the winger agreeing to a three-year deal worth around $450,000 a year.

While Turuva ideally wanted to stay at the foot of the mountain, he decided to test the open market after the Panthers presented him with a $350,000 per-season deal. And with a $100,000 a-season better offer, the Tigers locked him down from 2025.

Part of the allure of the Tigers for Turuva is playing under the leadership of his first cousin Api Koroisau. The hooker being at the club as well as the acquisition of Jarome Luai has helped convince Turuva that his future should be in orange and black.

The Wests Tigers have won the race for Panthers winger Sunia Turuva. Image: Getty
The Wests Tigers have won the race for Panthers winger Sunia Turuva. Image: Getty

AAP reports the winger informed Penrith's playing group on Thursday morning that he would be leaving the club at the end of the year. Turuva is the latest high-profile Panther to join the Tigers, after Koroisau's arrival last year and Luai's signed on from 2025. While Brent Naden and Charlie Staines are also among other former Penrith players currently at the joint venture.


Turuva had indicated last month his preference was to stay at Penrith, where he was the NRL's rookie of the year last season in the club's premiership run. "I want to be part of this team. It's a special group we've got here, no matter who steps into the jersey," Turuva said at the time.

"I just want to be part of this club. I've left it to my manager and Penrith to organise all that stuff. But I've said it before - Penrith's home. This is where I want to be."

But the Panthers were unable to table the same kind of money as the Tigers, unwilling to budge on their offer of $350,000 a year to stay. He had also expressed a desire to move ideally to fullback - where he played growing up - while the Panthers were only interested in playing him on the wing.

It is unlikely Turuva will be the club's No.1 next year. The Tigers are understood to be eager to keep Jahream Bula at fullback, with Turuva being brought in to play at centre.

Turuva's move to the Tigers means St George Illawarra have missed out on another target after the 21-year-old met with the Dragons earlier this month. With Zac Lomax leaving the Red V at the end of this year, Turuva had been viewed as an ideal replacement.

Turuva is the NRL's equal-leading try-scorer across the first seven rounds, with eight in six games. He scored 12 in his rookie season in 2023.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 10: Jarome Luai, Izack Tago and Sunia Turuva of the Panthers share a laugh during the round 15 NRL match between Sydney Roosters and Penrith Panthers at Allianz Stadium on June 10, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)
Sunia Turuva will join Jarome Luai in leaving the Panthers for the Wests Tigers in 2025.

with AAP