June 21, 2024

Is there a possibility that a Wests Tigers standout could fill the void left by James Fisher-Harris at the Penrith Panthers?

Stefano Utoikamanu, a talented 23-year-old forward, has made a name for himself in the NRL while playing for the Wests Tigers. However, with Fisher-Harris set to join the New Zealand Warriors from the Penrith Panthers, speculation has arisen about potential player movements.

Utoikamanu’s contract with the Tigers extends until the end of 2025, with the final year being a mutual option deal. Reports from Fox Sports suggest that he has the option to depart early if the Tigers fail to secure a top-eight finish in 2024. However, this clause may be overridden if he participates in two State of Origin matches this year.

Having made his Origin debut for NSW in Game 2 last year, Utoikamanu is seen as a strong contender for one of the prop spots in 2024, alongside Payne Haas. His impressive form this season has caught the attention of many, including his club coach Benji Marshall, who believes Utoikamanu has earned the potential Origin call-up through his hard work and standout performances.

The question remains whether Utoikamanu will remain at the Wests Tigers amidst the speculation surrounding his future.

The future of Stefano Utoikamanu at the Wests Tigers remains uncertain, with little indication of his intentions to extend his stay in Concord. His decision is likely to be influenced by the team’s progress this year.

Despite the speculation surrounding his contract, Utoikamanu is highly regarded by the Tigers and seen as a significant part of their future plans. Coach Marshall reiterated the club’s appreciation for Utoikamanu, emphasizing his importance to the team moving forward.

As for the Penrith Panthers, the question of who will replace James Fisher-Harris remains unanswered. With Fisher-Harris set to depart for the New Zealand Warriors, the Panthers may need to look for a suitable replacement to fill the void left by the departing forward.

Utoikamanu is reportedly a top target for the Penrith Panthers, according to The Age, as they seek to bolster their forward pack. Additionally, other promising young props like Xavier Willison from Brisbane and Trey Mooney from Canberra are also nearing the end of their contracts, presenting potential options for the Panthers.

Alternatively, if Penrith opts for more experience, players like Newcastle’s Leo Thompson or veteran Jack de Belin could be considered to add depth and leadership to the team’s forward line.

Stefano Utoikamanu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *