Wests Tigers sign Joe Ofahengaue from Brisbane, release Josh Aloiai to Manly

Picture: Wests Tigers
Picture: Wests Tigers

Wests Tigers have secured the services of State of Origin and Tonga representative Joe Ofahengaue on a three-year-deal.

Brisbane Broncos released the 25-year-old from the final two years of his contract to join the club effective immediately.

The announcement comes as Wests Tigers confirmed popular prop Josh Aloiai has been released from the remainder of his contract to join the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles on a three-year deal.

It's been no secret for the past several weeks that Aloiai was looking to leave the Wests Tigers, and the club has agreed to a deal with Manly to compensate the loss.

New signing Ofahengaue plays at prop, lock or second row and has made 105 first grade appearances since his 2015 NRL debut.

The former Junior Kangaroo has represented Queensland in two State of Origin appearances (in 2019) and played seven tests for Tonga.

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire said Ofahengaue's experience and versatility would be a strong asset for the club's forward pack.

Josh Aloiai training at Campbelltown Stadium in 2017. Picture: Anna Warr

Josh Aloiai training at Campbelltown Stadium in 2017. Picture: Anna Warr

"Joe has a tremendous hunger and determination to produce his best football with Wests Tigers and we're excited to see him on the field with us in 2021," he said.

"At 25, Joe is already an experienced forward in the NRL who has played at an extremely high level in his career and I know he will add a lot to our team in the years to come."

Club chief executive Justin Pascoe said he was thrilled to have the Queenslander in the team.

"On behalf of all at Wests Tigers, I'd like to welcome Joe to the club and say how pleased we are to have secured a player with his talent and ability," he said.

"Joe is a representative forward and another high-level addition to or squad for 2021.

"We identified that Joe's athletic ability and power can add great value to an already impressive group of young forwards and having another State of Origin representative player join the club further signals the positive direction that Wests Tigers is heading in.

"We're all looking forward to watching Joe excel in the Wests Tigers colours."

Sea Eagles chief executive Steve Humphreys said he expected big things from Aloiai.

"We are very pleased to secure a quality forward and strong leader in Josh," he said.

"I have no doubt that his on-field contributions will be immense and he will also support our existing leadership group in ensuring that our standards and culture are that of a high performance and winning organisation.

"I'd like to acknowledge and thank the Wests Tigers for agreeing to release Josh so he can immediately join the Sea Eagles."

Aloiai made his debut for the Wests Tigers in 2016 and has played two tests for Samoa. He has played 90 NRL games, scoring 11 tries.

Wests Tigers confirmed that Manly has 'agreed to an undisclosed commercial settlement' to secure Aloiai.