Remarkable Panthers twist in Pangai exit

In a stunning turn of events, Broncos forward Tevita Pangai jr could be set to make a shock switch to competition front-runners Penrith this season before joining the Canterbury Bulldogs next year.

Pangai is expected to formally ink his three-year $2.2 million deal with the Bulldogs today but it’s understood the Broncos have fielded offers from rival clubs for a three-month deal for the star before he moves to Belmore.

Penrith are understood to be interested in adding Pangai to their squad in their pursuit of this year’s premiership, and have been in touch with Brisbane in the lead up to their clash on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium. If both clubs can sort out a deal, the agreement could see Pangai go from playing for the second-last placed NRL team to potentially a premiership winner.

However, the ladder-leading Panthers need to sort out their salary cap to seal the deal. Penrith have a spot left on their full-time roster and if they can free-up some cap space – and the Broncos agree to an early release – Pangai Jr could make the switch before the August 1 deadline.

The Panthers aren’t bothered by the fact Pangai will head to Canterbury next season and are keen on using the 113kg forward off the bench as an interchangeable player for Viliame Kiaku. The potential move would provide Penrith with plenty of punch off the bench in their bid to avenge their 2020 grand final loss to the Storm.

If Penrith can’t sort through the details inside the next 12 days Pangai jr will stay at Red Hill. New Broncos football boss Ben Ikin said he is happy for Pangai Jr to finish this season with the club but said the club is also open to moving him immediately.

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