May 28, 2024

As Jarome Luai considers his future, rugby league legend Peter Sterling has cautioned the five-eighth to be wary of big-money deals from rival NRL clubs.

The 26-year-old is in high demand and is not under contract, so the Penrith Panthers are optimistic about keeping him. Club director Greg Alexander categorically denied any chance of Luai being released early on Friday.

As Luai was being courted by the West Tigers to leave the Panthers’ dynasty, Sterling counseled the NSW and Samoan player to consider changing the course of his career.

“I know back in my time at Parramatta, there were opportunities to go elsewhere but you have to weigh up a lot of things, especially the fact that you’re at a club that’s successful,” he stated to 9News Sydney.

“[Are you] generally content with your current residence and the course of events? Do you interfere with that even though you’re not sure you’ll enjoy your destination?”

With one year remaining on Luai’s current contract, the Tigers have reportedly tabled a four-year deal worth roughly $4.5 million.

A tribute to league commentary legend Peter Sterling

By contrast, reports state that Luai was extended a two-year contract worth $1.7 million by the Panthers.

Luai was warned by one of rugby league’s greatest playmakers, Sterling, not to chase pay packets.

First and foremost, if you go for the money, you’re going for the wrong reason.

It’s undoubtedly a major factor, but there are many others as well.

Sterling was sure Luai would make the best decision for his situation, no matter what the result.

“He’ll end up making the right decision and it’ll be the choice that his gut and his heart tells him is the best way to go,” he stated.

Luai will play a pivotal role in the Panthers’ premiership defense in 2024 as they aim for an unprecedented fourth consecutive championship.

The four-time premiership winner Sterling was not sure if the Panthers would be the team to sign their name after his Eels failed to complete their four-peat attempt in 1984.

“To be able to win three in a row is extraordinary and they have been able to keep a vast majority of their players, and their junior nursey keeps bringing these great young talents through,” he stated.

It will be difficult to defeat them.

“If they’re good enough to win that would be great but I’m death-riding them,” he stated.

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