Viliame Kikau has declared he’s committed to Penrith for 2022, adamant he didn’t know photos of him in Canterbury colours would be released.
Kikau remains contracted to the Panthers until the end of next season, but has signed a new four-year deal to join the Bulldogs in 2023.
That move was made public on Friday after an image of him posing with Trent Barrett and Phil Gould was leaked via a security camera image.
The leak prompted an internal investigation by the Bulldogs, while Gould apologised to his former club Penrith over the incident.
It also raises questions over whether Kikau will see out the final year of his Panthers deal.
But just hours before Penrith’s premiership parade, Kikau insisted he remained committed to the club.
“Today photos were taken of me wearing another club’s colours,” Kikau posted on social media on Sunday night.
“Me and my manager were told the photos wouldn’t become public until the appropriate time.
I am very disappointed that didn’t happen and regret the upset it has caused.
“I want the Panthers fans to know I remain fully committed to our club and the team for the upcoming season.
“I can’t wait to celebrate our premiership with you.”
Kikau’s move to the Bulldogs will make him the fifth member of their grand-final winning team to be on the move.
Kurt Capewell has signed for Brisbane in 2022 while Matt Burton will be at the Bulldogs, to go with Paul Momirovski playing for the Sydney Roosters next season and the sacking of Tyrone May.
Dylan Edwards and Apisai Koroisau now remain their biggest off-contract names at the club for the end of 2022.