Tuesday 17 October 2017 / 03:04 PM

RECRUITMENT WATCH: PANTHERS

Next up in his NRL Recruitment Watch series, NICK TEDESCHI breaks down who the Penrith Panthers may be looking at, who they should be going after, and the areas on the roster that need shoring up for 2018.

Needs: Penrith have depth across the paddock but probably lack genuine class in a few areas with the Panthers having very few top-end players. Peter Wallace hasn’t got long left in his career and Mitch Rein isn’t a top-grader so Penrith may look for a hooker.

Depending on what the Panthers do with Matt Moylan, a five-eighth may also be on the agenda. Overall though Penrith are pretty much set with almost all of their squad signed for 2018 and beyond.

2018 Recruits: Nil

2018 Losses: Nil

Off-Contract: Michael Oldfield, Sitaleki Akauloa

Rumours: The Panthers have surprisingly been linked to Cooper Cronk. It would be an incredible shock if Cronk landed at the Panthers but the club is very good at pulling off surprise coups. Te Maire Martin has reportedly worn out his welcome at Penrith and will shift, likely to the Warriors.

Players to Target: Tyrone Roberts would be an excellent fit at the Panthers with his ability to play multiple positions. He could start at six, allowing Matt Moylan to play his preferred fullback role. Michael Lichaa is a chance to move to the foot of the mountains. John Sutton is unlikely to leave Souths but would be an ideal fit at the Panthers.

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About the author

Nick Tedeschi

You will not find a more passionate rugby league man than Nick, whose Making The Nut column has garnered a huge cult following over the last decade. The Sydney-based raconteur co-authored The Book of NRL Lists with CBS stablemate WILL EVANS in 2014 and has penned several other books; he joined the CBS team with his weekly Six Up The Middle feature in 2016.

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