SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 17: James Fisher-Harris of the Panthers reacts after a Rabbitohs error during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Penrith Panthers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on October 17, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Penrith prop James Fisher-Harris is having a career-best campaign this season despite coming off the back of a Dally M Team of the Year selection.

The Panthers have been in blistering form to back-up their minor premiership and Grand Final appearance from 2020, starting the year 7-0.

The hot-start follows an impressive season of re-signings, with star trio Jarome Luai, Stephen Crichton and Isaah Yeo all inking new long-term deals.

The likes of Luai, Nathan Cleary and Brian To’o have been vital to the Panthers run, while Fisher-Harris has been just as serviceable from prop.

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Currently placed second in the Dally M Leaderboard behind Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen, Fisher-Harris is being touted as one of the most damaging players in the competition.

His worth to coach Ivan Cleary is unmatched, with the Panthers boss lauding his star forward’s wide-spread capabilities and skill-set.

“He’s certainly a favourite at our club because of the way he produces every week, how he trains as hard as he plays and the fact he’s the ultimate team man. He’s a pretty good package,” Cleary told The Sydney Morning Herald

“What ‘Fish’ is doing now he has been doing the whole time since I’ve been back at the club, and even before then.

“He was our best player in 2019, had a great year last year in a new role as a legitimate front-rower, and just continues to develop.

“He’s now 25, he’s still developing but he’s right in that sweet spot in terms of how many games he’s played and his experience.

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“‘Fish’ is incredibly hungry to improve all the time. He’s not the biggest front-rower but he plays big. I don’t want Fish going anywhere. And I don’t think Fish will be going anywhere.”
According to The Herald, Fisher-Harris is nearing a new deal worth close to $3 million, that would extend his stay at the foot of the mountains until the end of the 2026 season.
The New Zealand international is currently contracted to Penrith for another 18 months, but is seen to have warranted the long-term deal, as the Panthers look to lock up their star forward before he becomes available to talk with rival clubs in November.