A Four time Grand Finalist, a three time Premiership winner, he has one of the highest winning percentages for a player in the entire history of Australian Rugby League, and he led Samoa to the World Cup Final in 2022.
Oh, and he’s only 26 years old…
Jarome Luai haș a big decision to make about where his career goes from 2025 onwards. Contracted to the Penrith Panthers through to the end of 2024, Luai has been offered a 2 year contract extension with the clubs worth $1.7 million dollars.
Its a pretty good deal in terms of how much he will make per season, but the short term of the deal would suggest the Panthers are not set on him for the long term, and there is little doubt that if Luai chose to play for another club he would get a longer term deal for more money per season.
I’ll be honest, if I was in Jerome Luai’s shoes, I don’t know what I would chose to do.
At the Panthers Luai has already become part of the games history. Like most players at the club right now, he has achieved an entire careers worth of in such a sort space of time.
If he remains at the Panthers there is little to suggest that his wont be part of even more history. Playing at the club he has been at from a junior player, in an area he grew up in. Its a pretty special combination of things, and not every player gets to be part of something that special.
The thing is, a football career doesn’t last all that long. If Luai has a really long career for a 5/8, he will play for another ten years. Having achieved so much for the Panthers in the NRL, it would be totally understandable of Luai chose to look towards making the most money possible going forward.
We have seen the likes of Matthew Burton, Villiame Kikau and Api Koroisau make that decision. They all won premierships at the Panthers and all decided they would look to make more elsewhere. They all watched the entire finals series at home. Granted, they were really, really nice homes paid for by their big new contracts. Don’t feel sorry for them, they are sweet!
That is what Luai has to weigh up though. Do you stay at the Panthers an continue along on their march through the Rugby League history books, or do you cash your chips and set yourself up for the rest of your life?
Now the football fan in you is saying to stay at the club. I bet if I offered you a 20% increase on what you earn right now to move to a different job, doing the exact same thing you’re doing now though, you’d take it in a heartbeat.
What ever Luai chooses to do, I’ll be happy for him. He needs to do what ever is best for him.
I’d love to see him play his entire career at the Panthers, but at the same time I won’t be able to help cheer him on if he moves to another club. He is a great player who deserves all the success in the world.
He also deserves to be paid a lot of money…..hopefully by the Panthers!