PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 13: Jarome Luai of the Panthers is tackled during the round 18 NRL match between the Panthers and the Sharks at Panthers Stadium on July 13, 2018 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Jarome Luai is ready to turn his back on State of Origin football in favour of representing New Zealand or Samoa.

Luai grew up in Mt Druitt and is eligible to represent NSW in State of Origin, but according to teammate Nathan Cleary, Luai has no desire to wear the Sky Blue jersey.

Under the game’s eligibility rules, Luai can represent NSW if he elects to play for Samoa, a tier-two nation, but will be ineligible should he represent New Zealand.

Should he pick Samoa, Luai could one day play alongside Cleary for the Sky Blues and form a formidable partnership that would replicate their form for the Panthers.

Luai’s form in the past month has been exceptional and led Cleary to call him the Panthers best player.

“But he has been unbelievable. The last month he’s been our best player. The energy he brings around the team, some of the stuff he does on the field, I’m in awe of it, he has so much talent and X-factor,” Cleary said. 

“He’s always happy and has that infectious smile. I’m lucky to play alongside him.”

The Panthers booked their spot in the preliminary final after a one-point win over the Roosters on Friday night.

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. Jerome Luai, Dylan Brown, Chanel Harris-Tavita these guys are the future kiwis halves.
    Glad he has chosen NZ, if the side was being chosen today I’d have him at five-eight

  2. Luai…
    Born & raised in Sydney’s west.
    Penrith junior, from an Arab mother . From Samoan paternal grandparents.
    Lucky New Zealand has Penrith , Australia raising future New Zealand reps for them Warriors! 👍

  3. EOD, really can’t speak.

    Josh Pappalii, Auckland NZ
    James Tamou, Palmerston North NZ
    Akiula Uate, Fiji
    Felise Kaufusi, Auckland NZ

    For QLD and NSW
    Joe Ofahungue, Auckland NZ
    Jayden Su’a, Christchurch NZ
    Ben Teo, Auckland NZ
    Junior Paulo, Auckland NZ

    It’s happened for years on years and ultimately if your the player you should be able to chose if given the option
    As for Luai he has always represented NZ at junior levels and captained the junior kiwis, so why would he change his mind. He’s loyal to the team that gave him the opportunity first which makes sense given his upbringing and family

  4. Is that right Warriors.
    New Zealand wouldn’t even be able to field a real test team . At least not one that would be that competitive in Rugby League. If not for Australia allowing The Warriors to play in the Australian competition. Or do you think those playing in the Super League would make the test team be up to scratch? It hasn’t worked for England!
    We all know the Tongan’s , Samoans & any other islanders around somehow become New Zealander’s in most sports.
    So again, how’s is someone born raised in Australia, from Samoan / Arab heritage , a New Zealander?
    At least the few you can name from the past have actually played here, been coached here , lived here etc.
    it would be a list too long to name , to find all non New Zealander’s who’ve played for New Zealand. So many of them, never having played in New Zealand. Before being chosen to represent New Zealand.
    In fact , I can go further than that. New Zealand, wouldn’t be more that a park team in Rugby League. If any Supposed New Zealand players were excluded from playing in Australia or in the Super League.
    As we know, the same can be said for Tonga, Samoa, Fiji. Do they even play rugby league in those countries?
    So I guess you don’t like it to be pointed out that , New Zealander doesn’t actually mean that New Zealand has ever been home? If their grand parent lived next door to a New Zealander , that’s close enough. Right? 👍

  5. Jerome would be my first pick with cleary n Tedesco for NSW,why wouldnt you want to play at the highest level being Origin! Cleary n Jerome is what NSW has been looking for.

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