Penrith Panthers set to sign Tevita Pangai Junior

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Broncos front-rower Tevita Pangai Junior is on the verge of signing a short-term deal with the Panthers, despite the fact Penrith denied they were keen only a day ago.

Pangai Junior has penned a three-year deal with the Bulldogs from 2022 but is set to arrive at Canterbury via Penrith, where he will bolster the club’s forward pack in its pursuit of a premiership.

Nine’s Danny Weidler is reporting that Penrith are on the cusp of making the deal happen and that Pangai Junior could play for the Panthers as early as Round 21, against the Roosters.

The news comes just a day after Panthers chief executive Brian Fletcher shot down whispers of the club’s interest in the Tonga international.

“We had a chat with his agent several weeks ago,” Fletcher told Weidler.

“He is a quality player but it made no sense; we have an excellent roster.”

There’s now a greater need for Pangai Junior to join the Panthers after news broke yesterday of front-rower James Fisher-Harris deciding to leave Penrith’s Queensland bubble after Saturday’s clash with Brisbane.

Fisher-Harris is set to return to Sydney for the birth of his child and, despite Penrith’s wishes for an exemption, the New Zealand international will have to serve a 14-day quarantine period in a Queensland hotel before rejoining the squad.

Pangai Junior this week agreed to join the Bulldogs on a $2.2 million deal over three years from 2022, the latest in a string of impressive Canterbury signings.

Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Burton, Brent Naden, Matt Dufty and Tevita Pangai Junior are all locked in to become Bulldogs, while axed Dragons front-rower Paul Vaughan is also reportedly in talks with Canterbury.

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