Penrith have confirmed the signing of former Manly centre, Peta Hiku, on a three-year NRL deal.
The 23-year-old Kiwi international will fill the void left by former NSW State of Origin representative Jamal Idris, who left the Panthers last month citing personal reasons.
Hiku scored 28 tries in 61 games for the Sea Eagles, and his departure should pave the way for the arrival of former South Sydney outside back Dylan Walker.
“We are indeed fortunate that Peta became available at this stage of the year. He will perfectly complement the emerging young players we have here at Panthers,” Panthers general manager Phil Gould said.
“The fact that Peta, at a young age, has forced his way into that tremendous Manly backline and has performed so well on the international stage for the Kiwis is indicative of his tremendous ability.
“At 23 years of age, he obviously has the best of his career in front of him and we are excited he is going to be a Panther for the next three years.”
Hiku is a strong addition to the Panthers backline also featuring including Matt Moylan, Dean Whare, Josh Mansour and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak but no longer Jamal Idris, who has taken a break from the game for personal reasons.
Hiku played at centre and wing for the Sea Eagles and at five-eighth for the Kiwis on their end-of-season tour of England.
He was told he was unwanted under new Manly coach Trent Barrett despite a strong 2015 and was released from the final two years of his contract.