Wests Tigers are pleased to announce the signing of Luciano Leilua for the coming three seasons.

The three-year deal will see the talented young forward join Wests Tigers effective immediately after being granted a release by the St. George-Illawarra Dragons — signed at the club through to the end of the 2022 NRL season.

A Samoan international, Leilua made his first-grade debut for the Dragons in 2016 after starring at a junior level — featuring for the New South Wales U/18’s and Australian Schoolboys in 2014 before being named in the 2016 NYC Team of the Year.

The 23-year-old has since played 43 first-grade games for the Dragons across four years and enters the 2020 campaign off the back of a strong season that saw him post career highs in games, linebreaks, offloads, tackles and running metres.

Wests Tigers Head Coach Michael Maguire said he was looking forward to working with Leilua and seeing his career further develop at the club.

“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to secure a player with Luciano’s talent and potential for the future,” Maguire said. “He offers another dimension to our forward pack and gives us an added edge with his ball-playing and creativity.

“With more experience and time, I can see Luciano developing into a really strong player for this club and we’re all excited to see him take those next steps in his career here.”

Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe welcomed Luciano to the club.

“On behalf of all at Wests Tigers, I’d like to welcome Luciano to the club and echo our delight in seeing him commit long-term to Wests Tigers,” Pascoe said.

“Luciano has developed into a quality forward since his debut and we’re looking forward to providing him with an opportunity to keep improving as a player both on and off the field.”

Having represented Samoa during their strong World Rugby League Nines campaign and Oceania Cup Test match against Fiji earlier this month, Leilua will return for pre-season training alongside the club’s other senior players on December 2.