Two NRL rivals are after Tigers flyer; Knights are expected to sign rugby union star: Whispers Transferred

Two NRL rivals are reportedly pursuing Junior Tupou, a young player for the Wests Tigers, for 2025 and beyond.

When Tupou’s contract expires in November 2024, the Roosters and the Raiders are reportedly considering him, according to The Daily Telegraph.

With six tries in 22 games the previous season, the 21-year-old solidified his place on the Tigers roster and increased his career total to eight from 26 games since his debut in 2022.

In 2023, the agile winger—who can also play in the center—led the Tigers in tackle busts and linebreaks, solidifying his position on the backline ahead of the 2024 campaign.

In 2023, he made his debut for Tonga as well. He has only played one test thus far.

Born and reared in Canberra, Tupou joined the Tigers prior to making his first-grade debut.

The most recent changes occurred after early November reports in The Telegraph stated that the Tigers had extended Tupou’s contract by two years.

Though Tupou’s future after 2024 is now uncertain, a deal has not yet been inked, and the Tigers are vying with two teams for his signature.

Earlier in the season, Tigers captain Api Koroisau was all praise for Tupou, and it’s obvious that the team supports him.

“He is strange. “I’m so proud of him, just watching him carry on the way back,” Koroisau remarked.

“Considering his age, he exhibits remarkable composure, excels in low-possession play, and tirelessly contributes to the team.” It’s a delight to watch him get off to such a good start.

Tupou’s admiration from Mitchell Moses, the Eels halfback, further demonstrated how well-liked he is among his peers.

Moses remarked, “That Junior Tupou put us under the pump.”

“He was amazing for them as a young child, I thought, and he hurt and tore us to pieces when he carried the ball. Thus, he deserves credit for it.

Tyrone Thompson, Leo Thompson’s twin brother and a star in the New Zealand rugby union, is reportedly close to signing with the Newcastle Knights.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Thompson has reached an agreement to join the Newcastle Knights in 2025.

In 15 appearances, the 23-year-old has scored three tries while playing hooker for the Chiefs in the Super Rugby league.

In addition, Thompson has participated in one match for the Maori All Blacks and three for the All Blacks XV second team.

This development coincides with the release of the rugby union pay cap by Peter V’landys, according to which NRL teams may be granted salary cap exemptions in order to recruit players from competing codes.

In addition, the Chiefs forward has scored six tries in 18 Wellington games and twelve tries in 23 Hawke’s Bay games.

After his current contract with the Chiefs expires in 2025, Thompson has committed to join the Knights.

Thompson is expected to be in the front row, however it is unclear what position he will play.

Since making his debut in 2022, Leo Thompson has participated in 41 games for the Knights and three Test matches for the Kiwis.

Jacob Saifiti, who has signed a long-term contract with the Knights, will stay in Newcastle through at least the end of 2027.

Additionally, it has been claimed that the team plans to sign NSW Blues center Bradman Best to a new three-year contract, and coach Adam O’Brien is nearing completion of his own contract extension.

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