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NRL: Jamal Idris leaves Gold Coast Titans to take up three-year deal with Penrith Panthers

Penrith bound: Jamal Idris has left the Titans after just two seasons on the Gold Coast.

Penrith bound: Jamal Idris has left the Titans after just two seasons on the Gold Coast. Photo: Getty Images

The Penrith Panthers have scored a massive coup by signing Gold Coast Titans centre Jamal Idris to a three-year deal. In a return deal, the Panthers have released Brad Tighe from the final two years of his contract to join the Titans.

Idris had been in talks with the Panthers for some time as the former Australian representative sought a return to Sydney on compassionate grounds to be closer to his family.

The news is a huge boost for the Panthers leading into the 2014 NRL season after the club defied many critics last year by finishing just one win outside the playoffs with an 11-13 record.

Penrith have bolstered their playing stocks in the off-season with Brisbane halfback Peter Wallace, Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward, Warriors forward Elijah Taylor, Sharks back-rower Tyrone Peachey and veteran Manly prop Brent Kite.

Titans chief executive Graham Annesley said the club couldn't stand in the way of the 23-year-old's desire to be closer to his family despite their disappointment at having to release the star.

"We are dealing with people's lives and at times, we have to put the best interests of people first," Annesley said.

"Jamal has a really close relationship with his family and we respect his desire to spend more time with them in Sydney."

Panthers Executive General Manager Phil Gould has hailed the signing of Idris and the manner in which the Gold Coast conducted the negotiations.

“I admire the way the club and this player have resolved the situation. And for Panthers, it is a major coup to recruit a player of such a high profile and tremendous ability. Jamal will be a wonderful acquisition for Penrith, both on and off the field”.

Gould also paid tribute to Tighe.

“He has been one of my favourites. He is a truly wonderful person and we sincerely wish Brad and his family all the best with the next phase of his career”.

Idris made a name for himself with Canterbury during a four-year stint after making his debut as a teenager in 2008.

After making his State of Origin debut for NSW in the 2010 series, he scored a try in his only Test for Australia the following year.

He linked with the Titans in 2012 but only played 35 matches due to a serious leg injury suffered last season.

"Jamal showed everyone last season exactly what he is capable of, it was just unfortunate that injury struck right when he was playing some of his best football," Titans coach John Cartwright said.

"It's unfortunate that he is moving on but it's the best outcome for both Jamal and his family and we respect that."

Tighe, 29, has played 157 matches for the Panthers and Newcastle, and Cartwright said his arrival should ease the damage caused by Idris's departure.

"Brad is a real speedster who I'm sure many fans will remember from late in the 2012 season when he scored three tries against us," he said.

"It'll be exciting to see him in Titans colours next season."

with AAP

25 comments

  • Looks like the Panthers are using our salary cap management strategy.

    Commenter
    Rooster man
    Date and time
    January 07, 2014, 1:13PM
    • I thought his family was from northern NSW.... His grandma brought him up and I am sure I read an article around this when he signed for the titans.

      his additional comment was it was good at the titans as he was closer to family then playing for a Sydney based team....

      Hope the titans received cash as well as the centre.
      Me thinks it's more a salary cap/ financial decision by titans then "compassionate" grounds or am
      I being cynical in my older years

      Commenter
      Sheat
      Date and time
      January 08, 2014, 11:36AM
  • SMH, give us a likely 1-17 for Penrith in 2014

    Commenter
    Muzza
    Date and time
    January 07, 2014, 1:28PM
    • Whoah! Big signing! He really matured towards the end of his time with the Titans. Should make Penrith a REAL threat in 2014!

      Commenter
      Phil J.
      Location
      Seaforth
      Date and time
      January 07, 2014, 1:47PM
      • @rooster man can you provide that strategy to the Tigers plse

        Commenter
        alexaki
        Location
        tigertown
        Date and time
        January 07, 2014, 1:48PM
        • ....and for Parra.....................please.
          Penrith have signed some good players, like to see how that translate onto the field.

          Commenter
          MoontheLonn
          Location
          Toongabbie
          Date and time
          January 07, 2014, 9:46PM
      • what a joke, are all footballers these days mummy boys?

        Commenter
        patpat
        Date and time
        January 07, 2014, 2:32PM
        • So many footballers from all codes need to move on compassionate grounds. How many $$$ are involved in compassion. I maybe cynical but there just seems compassion is the easy way out. There was one Brisbane AFL player who, on compassionate grounds wanted to go home to Perth and wound up playing for Melbourne. Not quite Perth.

          Commenter
          Watcher
          Location
          Brisbane
          Date and time
          January 07, 2014, 2:41PM
          • Who cares - he's grossly over-rated anyway.

            Commenter
            Not A League Follower
            Location
            Qld
            Date and time
            January 07, 2014, 3:02PM
            • Family Reasons - hmm not what I've heard

              Commenter
              Boonboon
              Date and time
              January 07, 2014, 3:04PM

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