Panthers coach Ivan Cleary is wasting no time. Photo: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary is wasting no time. Photo: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Cleary’s clean-out claims another casualty

A season from hell at Penrith will end with more blood on the floor after young gun hooker Wayde Egan was the latest player told he is free to find a new home.

This is despite the 22-year-old having two years to run on his current contract which is understood to be worth in the vicinity of $500,000 a season.

There is also every chance Reagan Campbell-Gillard will be playing his final game for the Panthers when they run out against Newcastle on Sunday as Ivan Cleary's clean-out continues.

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Will Penrith regret dumping Wayde Egan? Photo: AAP Image/Michael Chambers
Will Penrith regret dumping Wayde Egan? Photo: AAP Image/Michael Chambers

 

Campbell-Gillard is understood to be in delicate negotiations despite having five more years on his lucrative current deal at the foot of the mountains that was only upgraded and extended last year.

While several clubs have expressed interest in the firebrand front-rower, Parramatta are believed to be leading the chase.

There has been speculation linking Jared Waerea-Hargreaves to Penrith but the Sydney Roosters' veteran enforcer still has a year to run on his contract and the Roosters are adamant they won't lose him for next year.

 

 

 

Egan was shattered when he initially found out that Cleary had signed Api Koroisau from Manly.

Egan is regarded as one of the most talented dummy halves coming through in the NRL who Andrew Johns once likened to a young Cameron Smith.

Egan had progressed through the Panthers' junior system since he was scouted from Lithgow as a teenager and was highly regarded by Phil Gould and former coach Anthony Griffin.

But it was clear he was not playing to his strengths under Cleary's coaching.

On Thursday Cleary met with Mark Stewart who manages both players. Stewart then met with Egan to discuss their plan going forward.

LISTEN! Matty Johns and Paul Kent are joined by Balmain champion Steve 'Blocker' Roach, talking up the big eighth place battle at Leichhardt Oval Sunday, look at some of Manly's best ever hit men and the time Kenty got completely jammed by Mark Geyer.

 

 

 

 

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The gifted dummy half is in demand with Canterbury, Wests Tigers and the New Zealand Warriors understood to be showing interest.

Stewart was reluctant to discuss any details relating to Campbell-Gillard's future when contacted but confirmed that Cleary had informed him that Egan was free to negotiate with rival clubs.

Such is the cruel world of NRL, Egan has been carrying a shoulder injury through to the end of the season that will require off-season surgery and that has played a huge part in the decision to sign Koroisau.

The surgery will basically rule Egan out for most of the pre-season training (three to four months) and Stewart said Cleary was worried that would delay his development.

 

RCG’s time with the Panthers could be at an end. Photo: Jason McCawley/Getty Images
RCG’s time with the Panthers could be at an end. Photo: Jason McCawley/Getty Images

 

"He has handled it really well," Stewart said of Egan's reaction.

"He was very, very dejected and disappointed when he was first told which is to be expected.

"When you sign a new three-year contract 12 months ago and you feel you are doing everything right and then they go and sign someone above you it can be a little bit disheartening.

"But that is the game. It is business."

Cleary, who has already let go of Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Waqa Blake this season, assured Stewart that Egan didn't have to leave if he couldn't find another club.

News Corp Australia


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