Stephen Crichton to leave Penrith Panthers, contract, transfer news, signings

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The Panthers have confirmed star centre Stephen Crichton will depart the club at the end of the 2023 season.

Crichton is coming off contract and has attracted the interest of a number of rivals including the Bulldogs, who are said to be willing to offer him up to $900,000 a season to play fullback.

The 22-year-old played a pivotal role in Penrith’s back-to-back premierships and starred for Samoa in the recent Rugby League World Cup.

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The Panthers confirmed Crichton’s departure via a statement on Monday.

“Penrith Panthers can confirm that the club was notified overnight by Stephen Crichton’s management group that he will be seeking opportunities elsewhere in 2024,” the statement read.

“Contrary to media reports, the club made a substantial offer in May 2022 for Stephen to remain at the Panthers and were disappointed the club could not reach an agreement at that point in time.

“Given the uncertainty surrounding the NRL salary cap and CBA negotiations, contract discussions were put on hold at the back-end of the 2022 season, while the club worked to establish its position.

“As a dual premiership winner and World Cup player, external interest in Stephen’s services were to be expected and although the club was working to maintain the representative player, Stephen made the decision to move forward with other interests.”

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Penrith’s football boss Matt Cameron conceded the club is “disappointed by the outcome” but thanked Crichton for his time.

“Although Panthers is disappointed by the outcome, the club respects Stephen’s decision, and understands the situation is exacerbated by salary cap pressure based on the club’s recent success,” Cameron said.

“The club thanks Stephen for his efforts and is looking forward to seeing him represent the Panthers for the remainder of the 2023 NRL season.”

Crichton will see out the final year of his contract before joining a new club.

“It was the hardest decision to make, but now my full focus is on the 2023 season and finishing my time at Panthers as strong as I can,” he said.

“It’s going to be tough to leave my teammates, but we will have our chance to make more memories this year. I know my friendships at Panthers won’t finish here but will last forever.”


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2023 squad: Adam Reynolds (2024), Billy Walters (2024), Blake Mozer (2025), Brendan Piakura (2024), Corey Jensen (202), Corey Oates (2023, PO 2024, 2025), Cory Paix (2023), Deine Mariner (2024), Delouise Hoeter (2024),…

Read More: Stephen Crichton to leave Penrith Panthers, contract, transfer news, signings 2023-01-16 05:30:00

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