The Wests Tigers have made the surprise call to release fringe first-grade prop Thomas Mikaele from the remainder of his deal to take up a contract in the English Super League, effective immediately.
It's understood the club who have picked him up are the Warrington Wolves, according to the Warrington Guardian.
Mikaele has made 66 NRL appearances since making his debut with the Tigers in the opening round of the 2019 season, and while the prop has never crossed the tryline, he has enjoyed consistent stints of first-grade action in the Tigers outfit at times.
The 24-year-old has also made six appearances this year, and while it's well below the minutes he has achieved previously, with 23 games in 2019, 18 in 2020 and 19 in 2021, it was thought he was still in and around the Tigers plans.
Instead, the club released a statement on Sunday evening confirming Mikaele has penned a two and a half year deal with a Super League club which will see him relocate to England effective immediately until at least the end of the 2024 season.
Tigers coach Michael Maguire said in a club statement that he expected to see Mikaele back in the NRL at some stage.
“It’s a good opportunity for Thomas and he leaves our club with the very best wishes.
I'm sure we'll see Thomas back in the NRL at some stage"
Warrington, who fell to St Helens in their most recent match to make it three Super League losses on the trot (the previous two coming against the Catalan Dragons and Wigan Warriors), sit in eighth spot on the 12-team ladder, but are at this stage three games clear of relegation, which Toulouse Olympique in outright last with just two wins from 13 games.
Mikaele, should the reports suggesting Warrington being his arrival club being true, will link up with fellow ex-NRL players Peter Mata'utia, Gareth Widdope, George Williams, Mike Cooper, Jason Clark and Billy Magoulias in the squad.
The Tigers also floated the idea that they would fill Mikaele's spot in the coming weeks, with their top-30 now a man short as the June deadline for immediate player movements and the filling of top 30 squads approaches.