June 22, 2024

Tigers flyer chased by two NRL rivals; Knights set to land rugby union star: Transfer Whispers

Wests Tigers young gun Junior Tupou is reportedly being chased by two NRL rivals for 2025 and beyond.

The Daily Telegraph reported Tupou is in the sights of the Raiders and the Roosters when his contract expires in November 2024.

The 21-year-old cemented his spot in the Tigers team last season scoring six tries in 22 games to take his career tally to eight from 26 matches since his debut in 2022.

NRL 2023: Transfer Whispers, Junior Tupou, Raiders, Roosters, Tigers,  Tyrone Thompson, rugby union, Chiefs, contracts, signings

The flying winger, who can also play in the centres led the Tigers in linebreaks and tackle busts in 2023 and has cemented his place in the backline ahead of the 2024 season.

He also debuted for Tonga in 2023, with one Test to his namer to date.

Tupou was originally raised in Canberra and made the switch to the Tigers ahead of his first-grade debut.

The latest developments came after The Telegraph reported in early November that Tupou was offered a two-year contract extension by the Tigers.

However a deal is yet to be signed with Tupou’s future beyond 2024 now up in the air and the Tigers fighting two clubs for his signature.

Tigers skipper Api Koroisau was full of praise for Tupou earlier this season and he clearly has the support of the playing group.

“He’s a freak. Just watching his carries on the way back, (I’m) so proud of him,” Koroisau said.

“To be that young too, he’s really composed, great under the high ball and just works his backside off for this team. Just to see him get off started like that, it really is a pleasure.”


Tupou also drew praise from Eels halfback Mitchell Moses showing he is rated highly by his peers.

“He put us under the pump, that Junior Tupou,” Moses said.

“For a young kid, I thought, how he was carrying the ball, he was unbelievable for them, and he tore us to shreds really, and he hurt us. So, it’s a credit to him.”

NRL: Newcastle Knights, Leo Thompson, Knights prop talks about his journey  to the NRL and brother's success in rugby union | NRL.com

The Newcastle Knights are reportedly set to land the signature of New Zealand rugby union star and the twin brother of Leo Thompson, Tyrone Thompson.

The Daily Telegraph reported Thompson has agreed to a deal to sign with the Newcastle Knights in 2025.

The 23-year-old is currently playing hooker for the Chiefs in the Super Rugby competition where he has scored three tries in 15 games.

Thompson has also played three games for the All Blacks XV second team and one game for the Maori All Blacks.

The development comes amid Peter V’landys’ rugby union salary cap announcement, with NRL clubs to potentially be allowed salary cap dispensation for attracting players from rival codes.

The Chiefs forward has also scored six tries in 18 games for Wellington and 12 tries in 23 games for Hawke’s Bay.

Tyrone Thompson Rugby | Tyrone Thompson News, Stats & Team | RugbyPass

Thompson has agreed to switch to the Knights at the end of his current deal with the Chiefs, which expires in 2025.

It remains to be seen what position he will play, but Thompson is likely to feature in the front row.

Leo Thompson has played 41 games for the Knights since his debut in 2022 and three Tests for the Kiwis to date.

The Knights have also reportedly signed Jacob Saifiti to a long-term deal to remain in Newcastle until at least the end of 2027.

The club are also reportedly set to re-sign NSW Blues centre Bradman Best to a three-year contract extension, while coach Adam O’Brien is close to finalising a contract extension.

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