Turuva eyes new house for family with next NRL deal

Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS

Three years after his family home burnt down, Penrith winger Sunia Turuva has set his sights on buying a new house for his father with his next NRL deal.

Off-contract at the end of next year, Turuva enters Friday night's preliminary final against Melbourne as one of the favourites for the Dally M rookie of the year.

But Turuva's breakout year in league is only a small part of the 21-year-old's story, with his journey to his first finals one of the most emotional in the NRL.

Turuva's long-time Glendenning family home burnt down in 2020 and while they managed to escape the blaze, the majority of their possessions were lost.

The sudden death of Turuva's mother the following September then rocked the family, with Penrith dedicating wins in that year's finals to the popular winger.

Now renting with his family in Blacktown, Turuva is determined to buy a house.

He is one of 10 Panthers off contract at the end of next year and is likely to command a significant upgrade whether at Penrith or elsewhere.

A number of Penrith players have bought their first houses for their families, including Brian To'o and Stephen Crichton in the past 18 months.

And Turuva plans to do the same for his father and four brothers.

"To buy them a house would be massive thing for them and myself as well," Turuva said.

"To give back to my family, just what they've done with what we've been through as well. That'll be a massive goal for myself personally.

"I've seen Critta (Crichton) and a few of these boys have bought their family a house.

"I'm still young at the moment, trying to try and just do what we're doing now and see where this path takes me."

Turuva is yet to start talks with the Panthers, who also have fellow winger Taylan May off contract at the end of next year.

One of the breakout stars of Penrith's premiership last year, May suffered an ACL rupture in the World Club Challenge, opening the door for Turuva's chance this year.

It is possible May could move to the centres next year with Crichton's exit to Canterbury, allowing both to stay in the team and Turuva's power on the wing to remain.

"Obviously Penrith's home," Turuva said of his contract situation.

"I'm loving my footy here, loving the boys, came up through the juniors here, live in Penrith, out west my whole life.

"Whatever happens, happens, the time will come. I've just got to play my part, play good footy each game and the contracts will take care of itself."