Barnstorming Wests Tigers backrower Luciano Leilua has quit the club immediately to join an NRL rival.
Leilua will head to North Queensland, having already signed a three-year deal to join the Cowboys for season 2023.
“We wish Luciano the very best with his future,” Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said.
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“He and his family have made a lot of friends here at the Wests Tigers and they will be missed.”
Leilua, 26, has played 99 NRL games since debuting for the Dragons in 2016.
He joined the Tigers in 2020 and has been one of the club’s best players in recent seasons.
He also represented Samoa in 2019 and will be available to lace up for them again at this year’s World Cup.
While he is a star at the Tigers, Leilua will be fighting to get a spot in a Cowboys side that is flying in third spot on the NRL ladder, in the midst of a resurgence not many people saw coming.
A serious knee injury to young backrower Heilum Luki in round 14 opens the door for a spot in the team, which can be filled by Leilua in the hunt for a premiership.
Luciano is the younger brother of former NRL firebrand Joey Leilua.
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