Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
We know Viliame Kikau today to be one of the game’s most prominent second rowers and a key part of the Penrith Panthers, but his career in our game started quite differently.
In 2014, Kikau made the move from Rugby Union to league when he was signed by the North Queensland Cowboys, playing for the club’s Holden Cup side where he would be used as a prop.
The following year Kikau would continue to excel for the Cowboys under 20s side and was named in the 2015 Holden Cup Team of the Year, before making the move to Penrith in 2016.
Recently, the Panthers have confirmed that they would not be able to afford Kikau’s services beyond 2022, with the Dragons and French Rugby clubs believed to be keen on signing the Fijian International.
However, the Australian’s Brent Read has reported that the Cowboys are now favourites to bring Kikau back up north via Triple M’s The Rush Hour.
“There are obviously some clubs looking, we’ve mentioned the Dragons in the past. Cowboys are a club that have retained interest in Viliame Kikau – he’s not originally from up there, but he played at some point earlier in his career and his partner is from up there,” said Read
“Figures that are being bandied around at the moment, I don’t know if the Cowboys will go that high for him. There are figures of $800-900,000 for Viliame Kikau, and I don’t think the Cowboys will go in that high for him.
“They will certainly come in with something for him if he is still off-contract on November 1 and make life difficult for Penrith. I don’t think there will be too many clubs more interested in Kikau than the Cowboys.
“I would imagine because he has lived up there, he’s played up there and his partner is from up there, there will be some genuine interest reciprocated.
“It’s going to depend on his price tag, what Penrith can afford and how high the Cowboys are willing to go.”
For now, Kikau will be focused on helping his Panthers progress to the Preliminary Final against local rivals the Parramatta Eels this weekend.