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Young guns to get a taste of NRL pre-season

Seven of the brightest young talents in the Panthers system have put pen to paper and are set to get their first taste of a gruelling NRL pre-season in Penrith.

Local juniors Niwhai Puru, Hohepa Puru and Connor Mason, along with Brad Fearnley, Liam Henry, Arthur Crichton and Tyrone Sa'u, will join the extended NRL squad for the first six weeks of pre-season training under coach Ivan Cleary.

Promising 19-year-old playmaker Niwhai Puru has agreed to a two-year deal which will see him feature in the NSW Cup next season before being promoted to the club's NRL development list in 2023.

Niwhai Puru and Brad Fearnley in action for the Panthers Jersey Flegg side in Round 11, 2021.
Niwhai Puru and Brad Fearnley in action for the Panthers Jersey Flegg side in Round 11, 2021. ©Panthers Media

Niwhai's brother Hohepa Puru and hooker Connor Mason have signed two-year NSWRL deals and are likely to make appearances in both the Jersey Flegg and NSW Cup competitions in 2022.

Meanwhile forwards Fearnley, Henry and Crichton, and outside back Sa'u, have committed to one-year NSWRL deals for the 2022 season.

The Panthers NRL squad will also be boosted by the inclusion of development players Tom Jenkins, Sunia Turuva and Mavrik Geyer when pre-season training begins on Wednesday 1 December.