Tamou has eyes set on leadership role
He's only just met some of his new teammates, but Panthers recruit James Tamou says he'd happily embrace a leadership role once he settles in at his new club.
The former Cowboy joined Penrith on a four-year deal starting in 2017 and will bring plenty of experience to a side brimming with premiership potential.
Led by 25-year-old Matt Moylan, the Panthers are one of the youngest teams in the competition but their semi-final finish last season showed they are ready to contend for premierships in the next few years.
At 27 Tamou is one of the more senior players at the club, and the star signing said he would relish the opportunity to use his eight years of NRL experience to help nurture Penrith's budding talent.
"Coming in, I see a few of the young boys are still shying away a bit," Tamou said after a gruelling pre-season session.
"Once I do get settled in, I'd love to pull them in and have a chat and tell them anything they're doing wrong. But just after that skills session, I was a bit out of place – obviously being the first day – so I was the one asking the questions.
"Once I get in and once we get all organised, I'd like to take a bit of a leadership role with some of the young boys."
What they lack in experience the Panthers more than make up for in size as 2015 premiership-winner Tamou found out at pre-season training.
Listed at 196cm and 114kg, even Tamou was dwarfed on Tuesday afternoon by some of the new clubmates he wants to one day help out.
In a squad that boasts some of the most promising up-and-comers in the game, Tamou identified former Panthers Holden Cup captain Andy Saunders as someone who had impressed him so far in pre-season training.
The Quirindi Grasshoppers junior is just one of a number of big boppers at the club, and with the likes of Viliame Kikau, Cowen Epere and Oliver Clark waiting in the wings, the Panthers are well stocked in the front-row department.
"He (Saunders) has been throwing weights around in the gym like it's no one's business," Tamou laughed.
"It's a bit intimidating with all the young fellas. I'm used to being the only tall one walking around, but there are some big, young boys getting around, and it's quite intimidating. It's good because it only adds to the value of the team.
"I'm excited. It looks like a good group of boys and a good coaching staff that can do really good things."