Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary.

Ivan Cleary has elevated his 21-year-old son Nathan to a six-man Panthers leadership group with plans to crown the club's long-term captain from within the chosen sextet.

Cleary jnr is the youngest member of the contingent, joining halves partner James Maloney, James Tamou, Isaah Yeo, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Josh Mansour as Penrith's skippers.

Yeo and Maloney shared captaincy duties in 2018 following the retirement of now-assistant coach Peter Wallace, while Watene-Zelezniak led the New Zealand Test side on their end-of-season tour of the UK.

But it is the rise NSW Origin halfback Cleary that catches the eye most, with the youngster handed the leadership role in just his fourth season of NRL.

Cleary inked a multimillion-dollar, five-year extension with Penrith last year, and is seen as the face of the club both now and well into the future.

His father Ivan previously opted to have five captains at Wests Tigers before his well-publicised return to Penrith, with Cleary snr backing the shared leadership duties to produce the NRL title expected of one of the game's most talented rosters.

"We’ve taken our time to decide on this leadership model and this specific group of players to ensure we deliver what is best for the Panthers this season," Ivan Cleary said.

"This model provides our team with strong leadership through cooperation, which is absolutely vital to success in a team environment.

"The leadership group is intentionally balanced with a mix of positions, age, experience and personal qualities, while also providing an opportunity for future captains of this club to emerge."