Panthers general manager Phil Gould has poured cold water on claims that he and former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary are poaching players from the Penrith coach's old club.
Last week the Panthers signed Warriors utility Elijah Taylor to a three-year deal which will begin at the start of the 2014 season.
The 23-year-old will join former Warrior Lewis Brown at the Panthers, with critics suggesting that Cleary is targeting his former troops from his time in charge at Mt Smart Stadium.
Taylor joins Brown, Sika Manu, Sam McKendry, Dean Whare, Mose Masoe and Matt Robinson as one of seven New Zealanders now filling the first-grade ranks at the Panthers.
And while it appears there is a Kiwi revolution taking place in West Sydney, Gould maintained that his club weren't specially targeting Warriors or New Zealanders, nor will the Panthers being increasing their scouting of young players on this side of the Tasman any time soon.
"I think every club is after talented players from New Zealand," Gould, the former NRL super-coach and well-known media pundit, said.
"That has been going on for some time, and families in New Zealand move to Australia simply to give their son a chance in rugby league in high schools over here.
"It's not specifically that we're looking to New Zealand - but these opportunities were too good to pass up."
Gould billed Taylor as the man that the Panthers will look to build their club around in the coming years, both in an on-field and a community role.
"From day one, Ivan Cleary spoke glowingly of Elijah and when the opportunity became available to talk to Elijah, Ivan was very keen for the Panthers to do so," Gould said.
"He introduced me to Elijah and everything that he said about him was absolutely true.
"You could see that in an instant.
"Ivan represented Elijah as a leader of the future, and someone whose personality and character you can build a team, and club, around."
Taylor, who played hooker for the Warriors against the Eels last night, told Sunday News during the week that while his contract is only three years, he wishes to become a big part of the furniture at the Panthers in the years to come.
The Panthers kick their season off against the Raiders at Centrebet Stadium in Sydney today.
- © Fairfax NZ News