Superstar secures his future but potentially at the cost of the man who broke English hearts

Penrith Panthers have announced the re-signing of Samoan international winger Brian To’o.

The contract extension will see the two-time premiership player remain in Panthers colours until at least the end of the 2027 season.

“I’m very grateful and blessed to call Panthers home for the next four years,” To’o said.

“I’d like to thank everyone at the club for giving me the opportunity to do what I love. I can’t wait to play for our amazing members and fans, who have shown me nothing but love and support.”

A St Marys junior, To’o progressed through the development pathways at Panthers and was a member of the club’s SG Ball side that won the premiership and national championship in 2016.

He advanced to the club’s under-20s and NSW Cup sides before making his NRL debut for the Panthers in 2019.

The 24-year-old, who has played 70 NRL matches, has developed into a representative player, having played six State of Origin games for New South Wales and seven Tests for Samoa.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary couldn’t be happier to have Brian re-sign with the club.

“Not only is Bizza a tremendous player who has continually performed at the highest level in the biggest games, but he is more importantly a brilliant young man who brightens the day of anyone he comes in contact with,” Cleary said.

“I feel happy for our players, staff, members and partners that he will be here long-term.”

Panthers Rugby League CEO Matt Cameron echoed Ivan’s comments.

“We’re extremely proud to see Brian commit his future to Panthers for a further four seasons,” Cameron said.

“As a local junior, Brian epitomises what it means to be Panthers player and it is clear that he is passionate about representing the community.

“I’m really looking forward to watching him build on what he has achieved in the game so far and continue to show what the built from within culture here at Panthers is all about.”

Great business from the NRL Champions, but it is a move that puts further doubt on the future of Stephen Crichton.

The man who broke English hearts with a Golden Point drop goal in the Rugby League World Cup semi-finals, reportedly wants to play fullback stirring up interest from the likes of Canterbury Bulldogs.

By using up cap space on To’o, it makes keeping Crichton less likely.

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