Tigers' Papali'i ignites NRL bidding war with exit

Papali’i will be in high demand. Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images

LeagueNews.co | Cooper McEnroe

In a stunning turn of events, Tigers dynamo Isaiah Papali'i is poised to set the NRL player market on fire after dropping a bombshell on his current club.

Reports from news.com.au suggest that the New Zealand international will be leaving the Tigers at the conclusion of this season, with permission granted to cut his three-year contract short by a year.

This move has sent shockwaves through the league, with rival clubs scrambling to secure the services of the 25-year-old back-rower.

Papali'i, who is currently signed with the Tigers until the end of 2025 on a lucrative deal, has become the hottest commodity in the league with his availability sparking intense interest from other teams.

His arrival at the Tigers in 2022 was hailed as a major coup, but the gun forward has struggled to replicate his stellar performances from his time at the Eels.

This development comes as a blow to the struggling Tigers, who have endured a rough patch of seven consecutive defeats.

However, Papali'i's departure will free up valuable salary cap space for the club to rejig their roster and potentially rebuild for the future.

Rumors are swirling that powerhouse clubs like the Sydney Roosters and the Panthers are already eyeing Papali'i as a potential recruit.

The Roosters have granted permission for key players Angus Crichton and Sitili Tupouniua to explore their options, with Papali'i emerging as a top target.

Meanwhile, the Panthers may also be in the mix after missing out on David Fifita, who shocked the league by staying put at the Gold Coast.

In the fast-paced world of Rugby League, Papali'i's impending move has set off a chain reaction of speculation and anticipation as clubs jostle to secure his signature and add a new dimension to their squads.

Watch this space as the bidding war heats up and the battle for Papali'i's services intensifies on the NRL player market.

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