New Penrith utility back Peta Hiku has acknowledged that his departure from Manly and move to the Panthers took him somewhat by surprise.
Hiku received a call from his manager while in transit back to Australia from Europe, explaining that he was now moving clubs.
“I couldn’t believe it. I waited to get back to Sydney and see where it went from there,” Hiku told media in New Zealand.
“At first I was disappointed. I wasn’t expecting it. It wasn’t something I wanted to happen but everything happened for a reason. Being [at Penrith] is something I’m looking forward to.”
Hiku spoke to Barrett about the situation, though, and accepted that there was too much competition in his favoured positions of full-back or centre at Manly for him to hold down a regular spot.
“I gave [Barrett] a call and had a meeting,” the player added.
“It was pretty good. I couldn’t be a centre or fullback. I had to wait a couple more years.
“[Barrett] guided me along about the decisions that would be best for me. I respect him a lot.”