Underrated utility Tom Humble is the latest Wests Tiger to jump ship after announcing he would be joining the Penrith Panthers on a two year deal from 2013.
More departures could be imminent with Joel Reddy linked to the Gold Coast Titans and Matt Bell to the Parramatta Eels.
Humble’s switch to the Panthers adds to an impressive list of imports for next season which includes premiership-winning backrower Sika Manu, Dean Whare and North Queensland’s James Segeyaro.
The Blackwater Crushers junior will challenge Lachlan Coote, Harry Siejka and Blake Austin for a spot next to Luke Walsh in the Penrith halves.
“I prefer six or seven, although I enjoy fullback,” Humble told FootySocial.com.au.
“Played a bit of nine last year. Was a challenge but probably wasn’t the best spot for me.”
There is also a possible vacancy at fullback if Coote plays on at five-eight.
With 21 games under his belt for both the Eels and Wests, Humble will be looking for a clearer role at his new club.
2012 was a frustrating year for the utility who was given minimal opportunities in the starting 13 despite former Tigers coach Tim Sheens refusing to settle on a halves combination.
Humble is excited about his move to the foot of the mountains.
“Yeah I’m looking forward to it” Humble said.
“They’ve made some good signings for 2013 and the current squad are building for the future I believe.
“I’ve yet to meet Ivan [Cleary] but I’ve heard good things. I’m looking forward to his influence and style of coaching.”
Humble also refused to speculate on the continued erosion of his former club.
“Whatever went on or still is at the Tigers was well above my rank at the club. Good people at the club and it will be a strong side in 2013.”
The new Panther is expected to be selected in the Italian World Cup squad for the tournament in October next year.
“”Yeah its a strong squad so far [Italy]. I think we will surprise in a few games.”