Canberra’s quest to find a new backrower concluded with the arrival of Zac Hosking from the Panthers. The 26-year-old, who won a Premiership at Penrith, had been expected to join at the end of the season but was granted an immediate release, strengthening the Raiders in an area they’ve long sought to improve.
According to Joel Carbone, head of recruitment at Canberra, Zac’s work ethic, ability, and character make him a great addition to the team. “He also adds some versatility to our squad, having played several positions in his career, and we’re delighted to have him on board,” said Carbone. “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Penrith Panthers for their professionalism and transparency throughout this process.”
Wests Tigers have landed a standout new centre, Solomona Faataape, to strengthen their squad. Faataape had been heavily linked with the Tigers and has impressed with his record in Queensland, having scored 16 tries in 24 games last year.
In the meantime, the St. George Illawarra Dragons have signed Ronald Volkman from the Warriors to compete with Kyle Flanagan for a starting berth. Volkman, who made his international debut for Samoa in the recent Pacific Championships, comes to the Dragons after a week in which the club was knocked back by two options and lost incumbent 6 Junior Amone.
The Dolphins have signed up-and-coming Wests Tigers winger Junior Tupou, while the Tigers have announced the addition of Solomon Alaimalo from Super Rugby. Alaimalo, a former Canterbury and Waikato winger, will be joining the NRL club in the new year and brings great speed, power, and agility to the team.
Manly have secured a huge eight-year deal for strike edge forward Haumole Olakau’atu, who has been rated as one of the most destructive ball-runners in the game. The 25-year-old Tonga international has been tied down to the Sea Eagles for the very long term.
In other backrower news, Kurt Capewell has signed a three-year deal with the Warriors, joining the team immediately from the Broncos. The Queensland star is looking forward to providing valuable experience to the young back rowers at the club.
There have also been further moves for the future, with new deals made for Rocco Berry and Jackson Ford, and an extension for influential player Tohu Harris who will now remain at the club until at least the end of 2025.
The Sydney Roosters have extended Sitili Tupouniua’s contract until the end of 2027. The hard-running edge forward, who has made 85 appearances and scored 26 tries, has struggled with injuries, but the club has faith in him.
Canberra have also extended star halfback Jamal Fogarty with a two-year deal that will see him remain with the team until the end of 2026. The Newcastle Knights have also secured a key member of their pack, Jacob Saifiti, who will be staying with the club until the end of 2027.