Robert Jennings has signed a two-year NRL deal with the Wests Tigers despite the spectre of a salary cap penalty hanging over the joint venture.
Winger Jennings was at South Sydney training on Thursday morning but by the afternoon had inked a deal with the Tigers for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, ending his four-month long contract limbo.
The 23-year-old's contract with the Rabbitohs ran out on October 31 last year and both parties spoke of locking in a new deal however the cardinal and myrtle could not find a place for the Tongan flyer in their salary cap.
He trained with the Rabbitohs throughout the summer in the hope of getting a deal done but was eventually forced to look elsewhere.
He was signed by the Tigers, despite the prospect of them having their salary cap shaved this year.
Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe has been provisionally deregistered after the NRL issued the club with a breach notice for allegedly failing to report an offer of an ambassadorial role made to Robbie Farah.
The NRL is also proposing to deduct $639,000 from the Tigers' salary cap.
However the NRL has told the Tigers that signing Jennings would not put them over the salary cap this year.
"Robert is a quality young man who I've worked with before and seen develop into the talented rugby league player he is," Tigers coach Michael Maguire said.
"He adds size, power and speed to our edges and is an excellent addition to our squad.
"Off the back of a strong season, I have no doubt he is going to fit extremely well in to our systems and I am looking forward to watching him take the next steps in his career at this club."
Jennings made 34 appearances for the Rabbitohs over the last two years and enjoyed a breakout 2018 which saw him cross for 19 tries - the third most in the competition.
"We tried everything we could to keep Robert at the Rabbitohs but unfortunately we aren't in a position to be able to keep him as part of our squad due to salary cap constraints," Rabbitohs general manager of football Shane Richardson said.
"He had a break out season last year and he worked very hard to earn a spot in our NRL squad, performing strongly on the left wing outside of Greg Inglis."
Australian Associated Press