NRL side Brisbane Broncos have confirmed that towering front-rower Tevita Pangai Junior has permission to speak to other clubs, with his immediate future set to lie away from Suncorp Stadium.
It was revealed midway through Thursday’s resounding 46-0 defeat to South Sydney Rabbitohs that Pangai Junior, 25, was set to exit the club, with Wests Tigers rumoured to be frontrunners to secure his signature.
Operating primarily at prop, the Tonga international’s current deal, signed in 2019, was due to expire at the end of the season.
Should any team in the NRL wish to sign Pangai Junior with immediate effect, they have until a deadline of August 1 to do so.
Brisbane have won just three times all season, losing their other 10 matches, and are currently languishing second-bottom in the NRL.
They could even end the weekend at the foot of the table if Canterbury Bulldogs, bolstered by former St Helens forward Luke Thompson, can overcome high-flying Parramatta Eels by an unlikely 44-point margin when the sides meet on Sunday.
On the decision to allow Pangai Junior to leave, Broncos CEO Dave Donaghy said: “Given our position, we are reviewing our roster and sometimes that involves some challenging discussions.
“In saying that, our discussions with Tevita have been open, honest and respectful.
“In an ideal world, these calls would be made post-season, but free agency in the NRL does not enable that.”