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.