NRL: Panthers star dumped from squad

James Segeyaro (centre) celebrates with Panthers team mates. Photo / Getty
James Segeyaro (centre) celebrates with Panthers team mates. Photo / Getty

James Segeyaro may have played his last game for Penrith, Chris Grevsmuhl has been named to make his Panthers' debut and NSW enforcer James Tamou's four-year deal $3 million deal could be confirmed by Friday.

It was a busy day at the foot of the mountains on Tuesday as Segeyaro was punted to NSW Cup this weekend after suggestions he had received a verbal spray from coach Anthony Griffin.

Griffin, a disciplinarian not afraid to make the tough calls, was said to be far from impressed with an Instagram photo that led to Segeyaro, Junior Paulo and Corey Norman being issued with a police warning for consorting with convicted criminals.

While new Panthers' CEO Corey Payne said last week the matter would not be taken any further, Griffin appeared to make his intentions clear by failing to include Segeyaro in an 18-man squad for Saturday's clash against Melbourne.

The coach, however, played down talk Segeyaro's now infamous night out at The Star had cost him his place in the NRL side.

"At the moment we're only going with one hooker, and Peter Wallace has earned that spot," Griffin told The Daily Telegraph.

"We have dealt with that (photo), but that's got nothing to do with the team selection."
Segeyaro is off contract at the end of the season, and the chances of him inking a new deal seem remote. There has been interest from an English Super League club, but it's been suggested Segeyaro is keen to remain locally.

The man known as "Chicko" broke his arm in the opening round, then had to watch the rise and rise of unlikely rake Wallace, whose switch to dummy-half has been so effective, he's kept Segeyaro out of the starting side.

Segeyaro said a few weeks ago he was hopeful to remain at Penrith, and simply wanted to string some good performances together so "it will be hard for 'Hook' (Griffin) not to pick me at No. 9".

Bryce Cartwright backed Segeyaro to fight his way back into the NRL squad.
"He's been playing well, it's just been hard to get the minutes he needs with 'Wally' playing so well at hooker," Cartwright said.

"But he won't stay down, he's a fighter."

As for Grevsmuhl, the backrower is bound to make an immediate impact against the Storm after his mid-season move from South Sydney was rubber-stamped during the bye round.

"I love watching him play, he was hard to play against, he's a very powerful runner of the ball," Cartwright said.

Meanwhile, Tamou, who will run out for NSW tonight, is expected to announce his four-year deal with the Panthers in the next 48 hours.

Despite giving the impression he was about to stay put with premiers North Queensland, Penrith looked to have convinced the prop to settle at the foot of the mountains until the end of 2020. Skipper Matt Moylan admitted he would do his best to get in Tamou's ear during Origin camp.

Told about the pending Tamou announcement, Cartwright said: "He adds a whole new dimension to our team, a big guy like that, with so much experience as well, he'll definitely add to our team, and he'll love the new facilities and core group of young guys coming through."

- news.com.au

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