Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Viliame Kikau is fresh off of winning the 2021 NRL Grand Final with the Penrith Panthers and is already one of the league’s hottest commodities as he heads into the final year of his contract at the Panthers in 2022.
Many clubs are set to offer Kikau a lucrative deal when he’s available to negotiate come November 1st, with the North Queensland Cowboys being mentioned on multiple occasions throughout the past few months as a contender for Kikau’s services.
They were believed to be the favourites to sign the Fijian International before the Panthers revealed they would be fighting to keep Kikau at the club and speculation began that the NRL’s newest franchise The Dolphins would be targeting him.
However, The Australian’s Brent Read has it on good authority that the Cowboys are once again frontrunners to sign Kikau, and recently spoke about the situation on Triple M.
“Penrith have tried to get a deal done before November 1, but it is not going to happen,” said Read.
“He will go to market and I think the North Queensland Cowboys are the club that is taking a good hard look at Viliame Kikau.
“He was obviously up there at one point during his career, he knows the club and I believe his partner is from up there as well.
“For me, the Cowboys are in the box seat to land Viliame Kikau from Monday because they are desperate for an edge back-rower.
“It is a position they really lack and it will depend on money. It will depend on how much money Viliame wants.
“I think they will go to a certain price level and I don’t think they will go beyond it, but it will be a healthy offer. So I believe they are the team to look out for with Viliame Kikau.”
As mentioned by Read, Kikau was once a Cowboy between 2014 and 2015, playing for the club’s Holden Cup side where he transitioned from a centre to a prop forward, and eventually to a second-rower at Penrith.
The Cowboys are in desperate need of forwards and Kikau would be a massive get for the club.