Star will not play at the weekend due to a “deeply personal and sensitive matter”

Penrith’s star signing Tevita Pangai Junior will not make his debut for the Panthers this weekend, having been forced to rush home to be with his partner Anna in Brisbane.

The former Brisbane forward was set to earn his first appearance in a Penrith shirt after his mid-season move from Red Hill, but Pangai Junior and partner Anna are said to be dealing with a “deeply personal and sensitive matter”.

The 25-year-old only started training with the Panthers this week, with head coach Ivan Cleary waxing lyrical about the impact of Pangai Junior on the playing squad.

“It’s been a really good week for him from a footy perspective,” Cleary said of Pangai.

“Some of the big things when you come into a new team, especially late in the season, there are a lot of things to learn

“But he’s done amazingly well, he’s a pretty smart footy player Tevita. He’s made some real progress this week in that sense, which will be good at the start of next week hopefully.”

Of course, the ex-Bronco will be joining Canterbury in 2022, but decided to throw his weight behind a Penrith title-charge for the rest of 2021.
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