Signing one of the brightest backline prospects on the market came with a bittersweet twist for the Cowboys yesterday.
The Cowboys had been desperate to retain Pangai, but he informed the club recently that he wished to return to Sydney. With the 20-year-old back – who made his NRL debut in round one – having family, friends and a partner based in the New South Wales capital, football manager Peter Parr said they respected his decision.
Rona, who had long been on North Queensland recruitment manager Adrian Thomson’s radar and was signed to a two-year deal, is expected to be an excellent replacement. At 194cm and 105kg, the 20-year-old is big and strong and possesses plenty of pace.