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NRL: Panthers star commits future

Penrith Panthers will again be the team to beat in the 2023 NRL campaign and they have been boosted by the news a key man has penned a new deal, while the Dolphins have named their inaugural captain.

Excitement is building ahead of the new season and there is big news breaking from the Panthers and Dolphins camps, while there is also injury concerns for the Roosters. There is also transfer news to report from the Parramatta Eels and Melbourne Storm.

Let’s take a look at some of the big stories emerging from the NRL with the new season now less than a month away from starting.

Martin pens Panthers deal

Reigning premiers Penrith are priced at 11/4 to win another Grand Final in 2023 and their roster is looking stronger than ever.

They have now received an added boosted with the news that Liam Martin has penned a new contract extension with the club. The star second-rower was under contract for 2023 but the Panthers have moved to secure him until the end of 2024 at the very least.

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It means that Martin is now free to focus on his footy and there will be no distractions. That can only be a good thing as the Panthers target the three-peat.

“I’m really happy to be staying here and I’m really excited for the future at the club and what we can build on following what we’ve already accomplished,” Martin said after penning the deal.

Eels secure Penisini

Parramatta have also secured the future of starlet Will Penisini, who has penned a deal to take him through until the end of 2025. The 20-year-old was a revelation in 2022 as the Eels went all the way to the Grand Final before losing to Penrith.

He played in every game and has scored 12 tries in 33 games for Brad Arthur’s side. On signing Penisini stated he believes that the Eels can go on and win the premiership in the coming years. They are priced at 13/1 to do so in 2023.

Other transfer news

In other transfer news Nick Meaney will stay with the Melbourne Storm until the end of 2024 after penning a new one-year deal with Craig Bellamy’s side.

Meanwhile the Canterbury Bulldogs have snapped up young playmaker Karl Oloapu from the Brisbane Broncos with immediate effect. The 18-year-old has penned a four-year deal.

Bromwich named Dolphins captain

NRL new boys the Dolphins have confirmed that Jesse Bromwich will lead the side in their inaugural NRL campaign. Bromwich, who arrives from the Melbourne Storm, has vast experience and coach Wayne Bennett says there is only one man for the job.

The 33-year-old skippered Melbourne Storm after Cameron Smith retired and his honours and credentials speak for themselves. Bromwich has made 295 NRL appearances and appeared in five Grand Finals and now has the important task of helping the Dolphins make their mark.

"It's going to be a real honour to lead the boys out this year," Bromwich said. "Obviously, to be the first captain of this NRL side is pretty special to me and my family. I can't wait to get out there. I promise I'll be out there doing everything I can to make sure I do a good job for the boys."

They are priced at 8/1 to make the top eight and play finals in their first season.

Roosters pair to miss All Stars

The Sydney Roosters have confirmed that Joseph Manu and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will not play in the Harvey Norman All Stars clash next week. Manu is ruled out with a facial fracture, while Waerea-Hargreaves is nursing a hamstring injury and will also sit out.

The Bondi outfit have confirmed both should be fit for the round-one clash against the Dolphins on Sunday 5th March. The Roosters are set to play Melbourne Storm in the NRL pre-season challenge on Sunday and are priced at 13/20 to win. The Storm can be backed at 5/4.

Trbojevic boost for Sea Eagles

In one other piece of injury news, Manly Sea Eagles have been boosted by the news star playmaker Tom Trbojevic is on track to play in round one. He picked up a hamstring injury in December, but after time in the USA with a specialist, the player has revealed he is on track to face the Canterbury Bulldogs on 4th March.

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