Here’s our look at the 2015 Key Signings for Penrith Panthers. With the Panthers recruitment drive in the past two seasons under Ivan Cleary, it’s no surprise that they have sparingly used the market. Their off-season aim has been to extend the contracts of their current squad. Sam Anderson and Jeremy Latimore are locked in for 2015. Josh Mansour put pen to paper until the end of 2016 after Canberra showed interest in the international winger. Dean Whare and Matt Moylan re-signed until 2017 and Bryce Cartwright may end up being a future captain at the club, is contracted until 2018. This has left just two key signings for the 2015 season with Adrian Davis and Rodney Coates unlikely to see National Rugby League football in their first year at the club.
1. Apisai Koroisau
Penrith locked in Apisai Koroisau from the South Sydney Rabbitohs mid-season. Made a good start to his career at hooker replacing Isaac Luke who was out with a shoulder injury after their round three loss to Wests Tigers. With only thirteen games to his belt, he didn’t put a foot wrong in being an unlikely Grand Final winning team member when Luke was suspended for a dangerous throw in their win over Sydney Roosters. The use of Koroisau at the Panthers will be interesting with James Segeyaro set to play a full eighty minutes. He’s likely to start on the bench and being utilised as a replacement hooker and lock to maximise his impact.
2. Tupou Sopoaga
Tupou Sopoaga has moved from the Shire and has sixteen National Rugby League games under his belt. The second rower will most likely play in the second-tier competition and used as a backup for Elijah Taylor, Lewis Brown and Tyrone Peachey. Sopoaga’s impact with the Sharks was hard to gauge with the ASADA investigations disrupting the club in 2014. Moving to Penrith might result in Sopoaga reaching his full potential.