Penrith Panthers have put together another superb squad for the 2024 season but the vultures are already circling the three time NRL Champions.
The Wests Tigers are looking to complete a huge $6 million move for star halfback Jarome Luai. The move is worth £3.1 million and is a big play by Wests to try and and turn things around.
But he is not the only one available with Daine Laurie reportedly available for 2025 including to Super League clubs.
A former Wests Tigers player himself, he was linked with a move to Super League and his pace and skill he is made for Super League and clubs will be targeting him ahead of the 2025 season to add a strike weapon to their ranks.
However, his focus will be on cracking the Penrith Panthers side and upping his value but that will be difficult with Penrith celebrating the fact they have three players in the NRL team of the Year.
NRL Team of the Year: 2023
Reece Walsh (Broncos)
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Warriors)
Herbie Farnworth (Broncos)
Stephen Crichton (Panthers)
Jamayne Isaako (Dolphins)
Ezra Mam (Broncos)
Shaun Johnson (Warriors)
James Fisher-Harris (Panthers)
Harry Grant (Storm)
Payne Haas (Broncos)
Liam Martin (Panthers)
Tyson Frizell (Knights)
Tohu Harris (Warriors)
You’d reckon that Shaun Johnson would enjoy working behind this forward pack and setting up opportunities for his outside men. And you would imagine that Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Jamayne Isaako would have the time of their lives, turning on an epic display of acrobatics to build on the imposing tally of tries they notched in 2023.
James Fisher-Harris might never work in tandem with Payne Haas in the front row and that may be a merciful thing for any opposition… but wouldn’t it be something to see Fisher-Harris careering into the defence and then Haas bumping and trampling off the back? That is a one-two punch if ever there was one and Harry Grant would have a field day with every possible option available to him.
Once the defence started to break up, Reece Walsh would run riot against retreating tacklers and his broken play possibilities would be limitless; he could hold up a pass for Farnworth on the left or he could accelerate into a half-gap on the right and look for Crichton to finish off, using his size and reach to plant the ball.
Chances are our Team of the Year will remain a Dream Team, and while some of these players may get the chance to play alongside each other at club and representative level, unless there is a return to a World All Stars concept sometime in the future, this line-up is destined to remain a great team on paper.
It’s always appealing to consider the possibilities, though … how Ezra Mam and Shaun Johnson might work together, what kind of damage back-rowers Liam Martin and Tyson Frizell could inflict if the space in front of them opened up and they were running off the service of Harris or Johnson or Mam.
We’ll likely never know the answers… but it’s a tantalising prospect.
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