Reds prop Sam Talakai is set to join his third Super Rugby club, with a move to the Rebels for the 2018 season to be unveiled tomorrow.
RUGBY.com.au understands the Talakai announcement will be the first of many in the coming weeks, as the Rebels roll out a number of new signings, headlined by Force stars eager to follow former coach Dave Wessels to his new club.
It’s understood the Reds were willing to let Talakai walk at the asking price, with the growth of Taniela Tupou this year a big factor in the decision.
The Reds have been patient since signing the schoolboy prodigy but in the back half of this Super Rugby season, as a 21-year-old, Tupou showed he has what it takes to be the starting tighthead for many years to come.
Queensland believe Tupou will be packing down alongside James Slipper as their starting props come round one next year and that pair will be supported by Sef Faagase, who can play on either side of the scrum, as well as fellow young gun Markus Vanzati.
There are also wraps on Australian U20s prop Harry Hoopert, who has trained with the Reds in patches throughout the year.
That depth has given the brains trust comfort in letting Talakai go, with the Rebels happy to snap up the 26-year-old as they quickly regenerate a squad that managed just one win in 2017.
Talakai will head south at the conclusion of the NRC.