April 23, 2024

Penrith’s three-way battle to replace Luai… and the free agents they could target

Initially, Apisai Koroisau went. Jarome Luai, a five-eighth back, is reportedly close to joining the former Panthers hooker at the Tigers in 2025, so it appears that he might follow him.

Penrith’s current priorities will be chasing a fourth consecutive championship and, should Luai decide to sign on the dotted line and move away from the foot of the mountains, sending a winner home in the process.

However, a three-way race for Luai’s open five-eighth jumper may emerge in the background in 2024.

As things stand, Luai and Nathan Cleary have already established an unprecedented relationship by winning 68 of 77 NRL games. Their 88% victory percentage is the highest of any halves combination in the Origin era to have started at least 14 games together.

Cleary, who teamed up with Luai for the first time at SG Ball in 2015, now has to consider the possibility of losing his dependable halves partner.

The Clive Churchill medallist will face a new obstacle in the absence of Luai and their acquired “sixth sense” that accumulated over time.

Here, foxsports.com.au examines the three candidates to succeed Luai in 2025, should he decide to sign with the Tigers, as well as possible open-market targets Penrith may consider.

Brad Schneider

First, they did it with Jack Cogger, and later with Sean O’Sullivan. Have the Panthers succeeded once more?

Perhaps. The fact that former Raiders playmaker Brad Schneider is only 22 years old adds to the excitement around his deal.

Put another way, Schneider’s two-year tenure at Penrith might be extended if he takes advantage of his opportunities there. Schneider is a halfback for the Hull KR.

Schneider is only one of several NRL players that moved to the Super League, but the fact that he did it at such a young age shows how committed he was to his needs at that particular stage of his career.

For Schneider, it was an opportunity to not only

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