Penrith have completed the signing of England fullback Zak Hardaker on a short-term deal until the end of the 2016 NRL season from Leeds Rhinos with hooker James Segeyaro heading in the opposite direction on a three-year contract.
The 24-year-old, who won the Super League Man of Steel award last year, will begin training with the Panthers next week, and is likely to play in the centres for his new club.
“This is truly exciting for the Panthers to have a current English international joining the club for the remainder of the 2016 season,” Panthers executive general manager Phil Gould said.
“Zak is an outstanding footballer. With long-term injuries to our Kiwi international centres Dean Whare and Peta Hiku, Zak’s arrival at the club is very timely indeed.
“Zak wants to prove himself in the NRL competition and may well consider a longer stint in Australia if all goes well. It will be a fantastic experience for Zak and for the Panthers”.
Segeyaro has been released from the remainder of his contract with the Panthers to immediately link up with Rhinos.
“It will be a great experience for James to live and play rugby league in another part of the world and I wish him the very best,” said Panthers CEO Corey Payne.
Segeyaro played 70 games for the Panthers after joining the club ahead of the 2013 season. In 2014 he was named Dally M Hooker of the Year.
“James has been a terrific player for our club over the last three and a half seasons,” Gould said.
“We greatly appreciate his efforts both on and off the field. We also appreciate the wonderful opportunity he has been offered to play with the great Leeds club in the English Super League.
“We wish him all the best for his future.”