Imprisoned Packer linked with Penrith Panthers

Last updated 10:56 25/07/2014
Russell Packer
Fairfax Australia
LEAGUE RETURN: Jailed former Warriors prop Russell Packer has been linked with the Newcastle Knights, Brisbane Broncos and Penrith Panthers.

Related Links

Manly put on united front but rumours persist NRL launches its crackdown on player betting Darius Boyd admitted to clinic for depression Garth Brennan in line for Knights coach's job

Relevant offers


Kiwi league star Benji Marshall looks to extend career and rugby is an option Warriors assistant coach Justin Morgan excited about what new stars will bring Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei plans eyebrow tribute to Jonah Lomu Former Warriors coach Tony Kemp says Taranaki NRL game 'massive' for the province Young Dragons players praise Kiwi league prop Russell Packer and call for him to stay in Australia NRL to block bargain deals for Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah with rival clubs Strong sales for pre-season league game between Warriors and Dragons in Nelson Canterbury Rugby League choose not to appeal ruling Warriors to play 2016 NRL match at New Plymouth's Yarrow Stadium Burgess to kick off Sunday blockbusters

Australian media are speculating that jailed New Zealand rugby league star Russell Packer could be handed an NRL lifeline by Ivan Cleary's Penrith Panthers.

Packer was initially handed a fixed-term two-year jail sentence in Australia after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm from an altercation in Sydney last September.

He appealed the severity of the sentence and won a 12-month parole period. That will potentially free him on January 6 and, unless he's deported, raises the prospect of returning to the NRL if the competition's bosses see fit.

The 24-year-old was set to play for the Newcastle Knights after signing a three-year deal to leave the Warriors but he never got to take the field.

The Daily Telegraph suggested today that Newcastle had been monitoring Packer's situation without giving away any indications of bringing him back into favour.

But the paper, in its speculative "Sport Confidential" column, said Packer's strong links to Cleary may offer him some hope.

Cleary gave Packer an NRL start at the Warriors in 2008 and is looking for propping talent to replace the departing Tim Grant next season.

Cleary hasn't been shy to attract New Zealand players to Sydney's western suburbs, luring Elijah Taylor and Lewis Brown away from the Warriors.

Former Warriors players Jeremy Latimore and Isaac John are also on the Panthers' books.

Cleary's challenge is to convince Panthers boss Phil Gould of Packer's worthiness for rehabilitation on the footy field.

The paper claims Cleary has raised the issue with Gould who is "yet to be convinced".

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content