Star second-row forward Isaiah Papali'i is set to drop a bombshell on the Wests Tigers by walking away from the final year of his deal with the club.

Papali'i originally joined the Tigers from the Parramatta Eels at the end of the 2022 season on a three-year deal.

It was believed at the time he had reservations about the move, which, while financially strong, saw him join a struggling team.

The forward has since gone on to play 32 games for the Tigers, and while he has been strong, he hasn't found the form which made him one of the best in the game during his time at the Eels.

Parramatta themselves had originally taken a punt on the now 25-year-old at close to minimum value after he struggled during the back-end of his time at the New Zealand Warriors, who he played 63 games from his debut in 2017 through to the end of 2020 when he departed the club.

News Corp are reporting he has already been given permission to explore his options away from the Tigers, with the joint-venture looking to continue their rebuild and improve their salary cap to aid in that approach.

Papali'i had originally signed under the coaching of Michael Maguire, who was sacked before the forward arrived at the club, with Papali'i since playing under Tim Sheens for a season and now Benji Marshall.

It's unclear where Papali'i will land, although the NRL has undergone something of a back-rower merry-go-round in recent weeks following David Fifita's exit, then backflip to remain at the Gold Coast Titans.

That period of time made it clear both the Penrith Panthers and Sydney Roosters - who could yet re-sign Angus Crichton or Sitili Tupouniua who they have given permission to leave the club - are in the mix, as will be the St George Illawarra Dragons despite having both Jaydn Su'A and Luciano Leilua on their books as starting second-rowers.