Wests Tigers have landed the final piece of their backline puzzle with fullback Daine Laurie to join the club immediately in a swap deal with Penrith for Paul Momirovski.
Almost three months after the rising star signed a deal to join the Tigers in 2022, Laurie has been released from the final year of his contract with Penrith.
In return the Tigers have granted Momirovski’s request for a release and he will join the Panthers on a two-year-deal to battle for a spot in the centres with Brent Naden and Tyrone May.
Laurie, 21, is considered one of the best young fullbacks in the game and made his NRL debut with the Panthers last season.
He was behind first-choice fullback Dylan Edwards at Penrith and his early arrival is expected to cost Moses Mbye the fullback role at Wests Tigers, injecting more speed into their attack alongside fellow recruit James Roberts.
With Momirovski stuck behind Roberts and Joey Leilua in the pecking order at the Tigers, the swap was the perfect solution for both clubs.
“It’s always sad to see a player we’ve developed leave the club, however Paul is a talented young footballer and we’re thrilled this arrangement has allowed us to secure his services for the next two seasons,” said Matt Cameron, Panthers general manager.
“Our club has been very strong regarding the circumstances under which we would entertain releasing a player ahead of time. This is clearly one such instance.
“Paul’s previous experience at the Roosters and Storm means he understands what winning culture looks and feels like, and the work it takes to get there.
“As shown by our club’s performances in 2020, that’s the culture we have strived to cultivate at Panthers.
“We believe Paul is ready to take the next step in his career and we’re excited he’ll have the opportunity to do it in Panthers colours.”
Momirovski was part of the loan deal with Melbourne that saw rookie of the year Harry Grant join the Tigers last season, but he played just six games for the premiers before suffering a hand injury.