Penrith coach Anthony Griffin says hooker James Segeyaro is still wanted at the NRL club despite being dumped from first grade.
The hooker is reportedly being shopped around to other clubs for a possible mid-season switch after appearing to fall out of favour at the Panthers.
The 25-year-old was told last week by Penrith he doesn’t have a contract for next season due to salary cap pressure and he was left out of their side that lost 24-6 to Melbourne.
His demotion followed a warning from NSW police last month for allegedly consorting with criminal figures.
Segeyaro was expected to play in Penrith’s NSW Cup side against Wests Tigers but withdrew during the warm-up after aggravating a groin injury.
Griffin said Segeyaro’s absence in the first grade side was purely a selection decision.
“He’s absolutely (still wanted),” Griffin said.
“He wasn’t selected in this team but he’s a contracted player at our club and there’s no issue with anything else other than that we wanted to go with one hooker and Peter Wallace is the form hooker in our club at the moment.”
Segeyaro was a high-profile recruit from North Queensland in 2013.