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St Helens and Salford Red Devils miss out on star signing as rivals agree transfer

NRL club, the Dolphins have added another international back to their future roster with the signing of exciting Wests Tigers youngster Junior Tupou.

This is after St Helens and Salford Red Devils were linked with the winger. The Saints are looking for an outside back after the loss of Will Hopoate and leaving the number three shirt vacant. Salford are in the market for a winger after the reported loss of Joe Burgess after a disciplinary incident following the loss of Ken Sio opening a quota spot.

But neither will be signing the former Wests Tigers winger. Tupou’s signature is another piece in the puzzle for the Dolphins as they continue to build their squad in just their second year in the NRL.

The 21-year old Tupou has signed a three-year deal starting in season 2025, and is another impressive backline acquisition after Great Britain centre Herbie Farnworth and former Bulldog Jake Averillo joined the club in this pre-season.

The Dolphins’ anchor home stadium of Suncorp Stadium will be familiar to Tupou after he made a memorable NRL debut for the Tigers last year, scoring a try during Magic Round.

He made 22 of his 26 NRL appearances for the Tigers in 2023, and topped that off by making his Test debut for Tonga in the recent three-Test series against England.

Dolphins’ chief executive Terry Reader said Tupou was an extremely strong runner of the ball and would provide the club with plenty of options.

“The signing of Junior adds even more depth to our squad as we look ahead to establishing ourselves as a strong club of the future,” said Reader.

“He is one of the most exciting young backs in the NRL at the moment so we will be excited to have him join our evolving roster.

“Junior is a powerful runner out of the back of the field so he will give us plenty of punch.

“At his age he also has plenty of room and time to improve his game, so we see him as a really valuable addition to the long-term future of the club.”

In addition to his Test status for Tonga, New Zealand-born Tupou has represented both NSW under 16s and under 18s as well as the Junior Wallabies during a brief stint in rugby union.

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