SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Luke Garner of the Tigers watches on during the round two NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the New Zealand Warriors at Campbelltown Stadium on March 24, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

In a surprising move, Wests Tigers' second-row forward Luke Garner will be headed to Penrith after a two-year deal was agreed upon on Wednesday.

According to News Corp, the Panthers have signed Garner in a move to replace the outgoing Fijian Viliame Kikau, who will leave the club for Canterbury ahead of the 2023 season.

Despite steady interest from other rivals, Garner will head to the feet of the Blue Mountains and link up with the current league leaders next season.

Having produced averages of 56 run metres, 11 tackles and 1.6 tackle busts across his eight outings for the merged club in 2022, the Dubbo-born product has provided head coach Michael Maguire with middling service in numerous slots.

And while the 62 gamer's output has stalled somewhat with Wests, the ability to link up with his former boss, Ivan Cleary, could well act as the catalyst for a career revival.

Still, even with Kikau's hulking frame out of the picture, Garner will be forced to compete with the likes of Liam Martin, Scott Sorensen, Mavrik Geyer and Preston Rikki for minutes either in the centre or on the edge.

Garner is expected to face off against his new side when the Tigers host the Panthers at CommBank Stadium on July 17.