In a series analysing who will line up in each position for all 16 teams in the opening round of the Telstra Premiership in 2021, NRL.com looks at the Penrith Panthers.
NRL.com says: With Josh Mansour now a South Sydney player, any doubt over Charlie Staines and Brian To'o starting as the wingers is over.
Brent Naden lost his starting centre spot in the 2020 finals to Tyrone May. Naden won't be considered for selection in the first month due to his positive drug test late last year and new recruit Paul Momirovski looks set to get the role ahead of May.
That would bump May to the bench and Belmore-bound half Matt Burton to the reserves.
With Zane Tetevano heading to England, Moses Leota, Spencer Leniu or Matt Eisenhuth could replace James Tamou as a starting prop. Leota is the likely candidate but has been functioning well as a bench weapon.
Ivan Cleary said after their trial triumph over Parramatta that Kurt Capewell would start in the second row with Liam Martin coming off the bench to also cover his middle forwards.
Jamie Soward says: The interesting storyline for Penrith is after the grand final when everyone wanted them to win but they didn't, they came so close, can they get back there?
I think someone like Leota will start in place of Tamou. They need to find a spot for Burton but I don't know if he's going to cover hooker.
Api will play 80 if you want him to but Burton may find himself having to tackle in the middle to get the best out of him.
They became very predictable when May was in the centres and was defensively a liability, not through any fault of his.
Panthers in 2021
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