Roosters release Mose Masoe to Panthers
The Sydney Roosters have released prop Mose Masoe from the final year of his NRL contract to join Penrith.
Despite re-signing earlier this year until the end of 2013, the 125kg New Zealander was cut loose by the Roosters but will have to get the green light from the NRL before officially linking up with the Ivan Cleary-coached Panthers.
Masoe joined the Roosters in 2010 and played 46 games for the tri-colours.
The hulking 23-year-old forward fell out of favour with then coach Brian Smith with six rounds remaining and dropped back to help feeder club Newtown win the NSW Cup premiership.
''Mose has a lot to offer the NRL and the club's decision to grant him a release was based on what we consider in the best interest of his long-term playing future,'' Sydney Roosters chief operating officer Brian Canavan said in a statement.
Penrith have been the most active club in terms of recruitment for next season as they attempt to rebuild after a dismal 2012.
They finished second-last on the NRL ladder and lost classy fullback Michael Gordon and then club legend and captain Luke Lewis to Cronulla.
And earlier this week, halfback Harry Siejka signed a two-year deal with the Warriors.
But to fill the void, the Panthers have added 14 players to their squad including Lewis Brown from the Warriors, Sika Manu (Storm), James Segeyaro (Cowboys), Wes Naiqama (Knights), Dean Whare (Sea Eagles).Second-rower Manu played his junior football at the same Wellington club in New Zealand where Masoe started as a youngster - the Randwick Kingfishers.
Masoe will find it tough to earn a starting berth in the Penrith pack that includes New Zealand international prop Sam McKendry and NSW Origin front-rower Tim Grant.