Spencer Leniu is reportedly set to join the Canterbury Bulldogs from the start of the 2024 season.
Leniu has struggled for consistent minutes during his time at the Panthers, with the former New South Wales junior State of Origin representative behind Penrith's excellent starting contingent.
Both James Fisher-Harris and Moses Leota are well ahead of Leniu, while Scott Sorensen has also turned himself into a strong middle third option, taking away more of Leniu's minutes off the bench.
While Leniu sits ahead of the likes of Matt Eisenhuth and Eddie Blacker in the queue, there is little doubt he has shown enough on the park to warrant an upgraded contract and more minutes.
Off-contract at the end of the 2023 season, Leniu has been previously linked with a move to the St George Illawarra Dragons previously, but it now appears that he could follow Stephen Crichton in relocating to Belmore, where he would link up with former Penrith assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo, as well as Matt Burton and Viliame Kikau, who have already made the same move.
The Western Weekender's Peter Lang said on Twitter that the deal for Leniu to move to Belmore is "as good as done", having earlier suggested he was likely to sign with the club, although the deal wasn't done yet.
SPENCER LENIU UPDATE 2: Following my tweet I have just received strong mail that I am completely wrong and that the deal with the Dogs is as good as DONE! I was told if I don’t pass this info on I’ll look even stupider than I already do. We’ll know soon enough! #PantherPride
— Peter Lang (@PeterVLang) January 31, 2023
The Panthers are well aware they will need to shed talent every season owing to the club's enormous success at all levels, with the team winning four premierships - the NRL, NSW Cup, Jersey Flegg and SG Ball - in 2022.
Their junior academy continues to churn out talent, and youngsters across the park are looking for first-grade opportunities as players like Leniu look to depart for greater opportunities.
Mainly kept to a bench role, the 183-centimetre, 110-kilogram Leniu has played 62 NRL games for the Panthers since his late 2019 debut, and has averaged between 70 and 80 metres per game across each of the last three-seasons, but had a career-high 319 tackles and 702 post-contact metres in 2022 as his game continues to improve.