Wests Tigers forward Isaiah Papali'i has officially been released from the remainder of his contract and has signed with a new club for the 2025 NRL season.

Finishing up with the Wests Tigers at the end of this season, the second-rower has signed a three-year contract with the Penrith Panthers until at least the end of the 2027 season.

A former Dally M Second Rower of the Year in 2021, Papali'i is nearing his 150th NRL appearance and has represented New Zealand and Samoa internationally.

His signing to the Panthers comes after front-rower James Fisher-Harris will depart for the New Zealand Warriors at the end of the season and they narrowly missed out on the services of David Fifita.

“We're thrilled to have secured Isaiah's services for the next three seasons,” Panthers Rugby League CEO Matt Cameron said following the signing.

“Not only does Isaiah bring a wealth of experience and leadership capabilities to our club, but he's also a world-class forward who has proven himself at the highest level.”

“Isaiah is a talented player, displaying not only exceptional skills but also a great attitude and work ethic,” Panthers General Manager of Rugby League Shane Elford added.

“We believe he will thrive in the Panthers system and we're eager to see his continued career progression at our club.”

NRL Rd 1 - Wests Tigers v Titans
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 05: Isaiah Papali'i of the Wests Tigers is tackled during the round one NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Gold Coast Titans at Leichhardt Oval on March 05, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Signing with the Tigers in 2023 from the Parramatta Eels, Papali'i originally signed due to playing under Michael Maguire but would never get to play under the new NSW Blues head coach due to him being terminated by the club.

Instead, he played under Tim Sheens and Benji Marshall. Although he has been one of the club's better forwards, he has been unable to live up to the Dally M expectations.

"This is purely about getting our salary cap in better shape and it's not a simple thing to do," Wests Tigers CEO Shane Richardson said.

"Effective salary cap management is so important in this business, and it's a puzzle you simply must get right if you want to be a successful NRL club.”