Luciano Leilua will join the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys with immediate effect after securing a release from his previous club.
Originally slated to arrive in North Queensland for the 2023 season on a three-year deal, the 26-year-old will now be available to make his Cowboys debut in the XXXX Derby against Brisbane in Round 16.
Leilua has appeared in 99 NRL games since making his debut for St George Illawarra in 2016. He departed the Dragons for the Wests Tigers in 2020 and has emerged as one of the NRL’s most destructive second rowers.
Leilua has also appeared in one Test for Samoa.
“We are thrilled to welcome a player of Luciano’s ability and class to our club at this stage of the season,” Cowboys General Manager of Football Micheal Luck said.
“We’ve been very lucky we haven’t had any long-term injuries to our backrowers to start the season. That’s changed now with Heilum Luki ruled out for the season.
“We were in the fortunate position to be able to fit Luciano into our squad this year if the Tigers had an appetite to release him. It’s worked out well for both parties and we look forward to what Luciano will add to our squad moving forward.”