‘I’m off to the Tigers’, Turuva tells Penrith teammates

Scott Bailey |

Penrith are set to see the back of departing winger Sunia Turuva, who is off to Wests Tigers.
Penrith are set to see the back of departing winger Sunia Turuva, who is off to Wests Tigers.

Sunia Turuva has told his Penrith teammates he will exit the club at the end of this season and follow Jarome Luai to Wests Tigers in 2025.

Sources have told AAP Turuva addressed Penrith’s playing group on Thursday morning to inform them he would leave the NRL club and move to the Tigers on a three-year deal.

Turuva will become the latest high-profile Panther to join the Tigers, after Apisai Koroisau’s arrival last year and Luai’s deal that begins in 2025.

Brent Naden and Charlie Staines are among other former Penrith players at the joint-venture.

Turuva had indicated last month his main 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 offer the Fiji international the same money he could earn elsewhere, with Penrith unwilling to budge on their offer of $350,000 a year to stay on the wing.

A fullback growing up, it is likely Turuva will stay on the wing at the Tigers – where rising star Jahream Bula will command the No.1 jersey.

Turuva’s shift to the Tigers means St George Illawarra have missed out, after the 21-year-old met with the Dragons earlier this month.

With Zac Lomax exiting the Red V at the end of this year, Turuva had been viewed as an option to replace him on the Dragons’ wing.

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.