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Wests Tigers sign Isaiah Papali’i

Wests Tigers are pleased to confirm that Dally M Second Rower of the Year Isaiah Papali’i has agreed to join the club from the start of the 2023 NRL season.

The 23-year-old Papali’i — who is contracted with the Parramatta Eels for the 2022 campaign — has signed a three-year contract that will see him feature in Wests Tigers colours from the start of the 2023 season until at least the end of 2025.

A Te Atatu Roosters junior from Auckland, Papali'i made his NRL debut for the New Zealand Warriors in 2017 — playing 63 games across four seasons — before linking up with the Eels ahead of the 2021 season.

The New Zealand and Samoa international representative enjoyed a breakout season in 2021, going on to be named the Dally M Second Rower of the Year.

Wests Tigers Director of Football Tim Sheens said he was pleased to add a player of Papali’i’s calibre to the club.

“Isaiah is an exceptionally talented young forward who has shown himself to be a player with a fantastic attitude, work-ethic and drive,” Sheens said.

“We firmly believe that his best football is still ahead of him and we’re very excited to see him progress in next steps of his rugby league career with Wests Tigers.”

Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said Papali’i’s signing was a strong show of intent from the club.

“On behalf of all at Wests Tigers, I’d like to say how pleased we are to have secured Isaiah at the club long-term,” Pascoe said.

“His commitment is a strong reflection of what we’re building on and off the field at Wests Tigers and we’re looking forward to welcoming him at the start of the 2023 season.”