NRL: Benji Marshall's Wests Tigers poised to make multi-million dollar play for Penrith Panthers star Jarome Luai

  • 24/11/2023
Benji Marshall and Jarome Luai.
Benji Marshall and Jarome Luai. Photo credit: Getty Images

Kiwis great Benji Marshall is wasting no time making his mark in his new role as head coach of Wests Tigers, making a multi-million dollar play to acquire Penrith Panthers star Jarome Luai.

According to Sydney Morning Herald, Marshall's Tigers are poised to make a AU$4.5 million (NZ$4.87m) bid for the services of the star half.

Marshall with Warriors coach Andrew Webster.
Marshall with Warriors coach Andrew Webster. Photo credit: Getty Images

The reports come after Marshall allegedly visisted Luai's home to make a personal pitch for his services.

Luai is fresh off helping the Panthers win a third-straight NRL Premiership and his signature is one of the most hotly contested on the free agent market.

The NSW State of Origin representative has reportedly turned down the offer of a AU$1.7m two-year extension from the Panthers, which is significantly less than offered by the Tigers.

Marshall – who takes the reins from mentor Tim Sheens next year – will offer Luai the opportunity to become the central playmaker with the Tigers, after years spent as Nathan Cleary's sidekick with the Panthers and NSW.

Reeling in Luai would be a monumental early statement by Marshall, who will make his debut as head coach in 2024.

The Tigers finished with last season's wooden spoon after managing just four wins.