SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Viliame Kikau of the Panthers offloads the ball to Apisai Koroisau of the Panthers during the round 16 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels at BlueBet Stadium on July 02, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The first major signatures for 2023 and beyond are yet to fall, but it would appear Penrith star Viliame Kikau will be one of the first.

Kikau has been linked in each and every direction over the past six months.

While the Penrith Panthers were keen to hold onto the star Fijian, it has been reported Kikau would head anywhere from rugby union, to the St George Illawarra Dragons or the North Queensland Cowboys.

Kikau originally trashed the Dragons' rumours, however, has, concerningly for Penrith fans at least, gone quiet on recent rumours of his departure from the foot of the mountains.

The Daily Telegraph are reporting that the Bulldogs have beaten the Cowboys for Kikau's services from 2023 though, signing him to what is believed to be a four-year deal worth around $800,000 per season.

VILIAME KIKAU
Second-row
Panthers
2021 SEASON AVG
21.7
Tackles Made
0.3
Tries
3.2
Tackle Breaks

He will play for the Panthers in 2022 before linking up with the Bulldogs. The new deal will reportedly see Kikau remain at Belmore until the end of the 2026 season.

The rumoured signing is intriguing given the Bulldogs' reported problems with the salary cap. They have already signed ten new players for 2022 and beyond, including the likes of Josh Addo-Carr and Tevita Pangai Junior on what is believed to be mega money.

Kikau's rumoured $800,000 deal will put further strain on that salary cap for seasons to come.

The Fijian was slightly underwhelming in 2021, but his talent is undoubted, and he is known to have a good relationship with Bulldogs' coach Trent Barrett, while he also dealt with Phil Gould during his time at the Panthers.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 20: Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett looks on during the round 15 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Bankwest Stadium, on June 20, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The Bulldogs have also been linked with hooker Reed Mahoney, who they are rumoured to have tabled an offer of around $600,000 for over a similar time period, starting from the 2023 season.

It remains to be seen how signing Kikau on such a big deal impacts their ability to sign the fringe State of Origin player however, with the salary cap constraints still biting the rebuilding club.

The 26-year-old has played 98 games for the Panthers since his 2017 debut.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Geez the Bulldogs will have to dump at least 4 possibly more players in order to accommodate the likes of Kikau and Mahoney…..what is the Bulldogs mantra – bought not bred hahaha

  2. This is B.S.
    He should never be photographed in bulldog colours considering he is contracted to Penrith, so much for him saying” I could never play against Penrith and my Penrith brothers ” Shame on you Phil Gould..Imagine the tears coming from Gould if someone did this to the bulldogs

  3. Good luck to the Dogs but still don’t believe it’s a good signing for what they lack in the spine (excl Burton). Way to many signings for my liking and they will need to release players (if anyone wants them).

    Dogs will improve with the individuals they have but footy is a team sport

  4. They have more than 4 players off contract end of 2022 including 2 edge forwards who would cover Kikau’s wage completely. Compared to other top teams the Dogs are spending little on the spine. Why does the cap come up when the Dogs buy players but not the Roosters or Panthers ? It’s amazing how the Panthers have kept the majority of their team together most on huge dollars

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