Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Jarome Luai is a lover of many things in life, his family, music, dancing, the Panthers and of course his Samoan heritage.
The 24-year-old has made his admiration for Samoa no secret, stating in 2020 that being picked to play State of Origin for New South Wales would be nice, but that his focus is playing for Samoa, and reaffirming his Samoan status in 2021 after being selected to play for the Blues when Luai revealed that he would not be switching allegiances to Australia for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup that will now take place in 2022.
We are now set to see the Penrith five-eighth’s connection with Samoan Rugby League strengthen even further, as Luai has been appointed an official Samoa Rugby League Ambassador in the NRL offseason, which was revealed by the Australian’s Brent Read yesterday.
“You could hear when I spoke to him today, he was so honoured that they selected him to become the face of Samoa, it’s amazing for him,” said Read via Triple M’s The Rush Hour.
Luai has played in five International matches with Samoa in the past, with three of those coming in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, and has also represented Samo in the 2019 World Cup Nine’s tournament, where the nation would make it to the semi-final and put in an admirable effort against Australia.
We have also seen Luai perform at a very high level this season for his Penrith Panthers, scoring two tries, assisting 15, assisting 18 line breaks, averaging 62 running metres per game and making 379 tackles for an efficiency rate of 86.3%, and will be a key component of his club’s push for the premiership come early October, with Penrith one of the favourites to take out the Provan Summons Trophy.
It is a certainty that we will see Luai take on this new role in the offseason with both hands and give it his all for Samoan Rugby League as their ambassador.
This appointment will also surely quell all rumours of Luai considering an allegiance switch to Australia made earlier this year.