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Jarome Luai had no intentions of walking away from the Panthers, declaring "this is my home, this is where I grew up" after confirming a three-year contract extension on Friday. 

Luai became the third high-profile player to settle his long-term future at the club in the past fortnight after the Samoan international's future became a hot topic in the summer following a breakout 2020 season.

Luai's new deal will take the 24-year-old through until at least the end of the 2024 season and have him well placed to build on his halves combination with Nathan Cleary for the next four years. 

"I feel blessed to know I’ll be at Panthers for the next four years," Luai said in a club statement.

"This is my home. This is where I grew up. This is my family. Every time I pull on that jersey, I’m playing for all those things and more.

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"I think it’s going to be a great season and I’m just really excited to get out there and play some footy."

It's capped a whirlwind 12 months for the St Marys junior, who this time last year was putting his best case forward to claim the No.6 jersey at the club following the departure of James Maloney in 2019.

He made the jersey his own last season, playing in every game for Ivan Cleary and producing a competition-high 23 try assists in as many games. 

"I first watched Jarome playing alongside Nathan [Cleary] as a 15-year-old," Cleary said.

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"He had to wait a little bit longer to cement his spot in the NRL but the natural combination those two have will be vital for our club over the coming years.

"Jarome’s value to our team is more than just his individual skills. He has an ability to connect the players around him, which is crucial to our success.

"I look forward to working with him and watching his game continue to grow in the seasons ahead."

Luai will line up alongside Nathan Cleary in the side's trial against Parramatta on Saturday night following his representative debut with the Maori All Stars last week. 

The club's latest retention of Luai should ease the spotlight surrounding last year's minor premiers after they offloaded several veterans to re-sign their next crop of talent.

Maroons back-rower Kurt Capewell, centre Brent Naden and utility Tyrone May are among the players left without deals beyond this season. 

"Panthers has taken a very deliberate approach to recruitment and retention over the summer months to ensure we put the club in the best possible position moving forward,” Panthers general manager Matt Cameron said.

"Securing Jarome’s services through to the end of 2024 is a key piece of that puzzle."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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