Penrith’s decision to sack coach Anthony Griffin this late into the 2018 season certainly shocked most onlookers involved in the NRL, although it’s the Panthers’ next move that could be the biggest one of them all.
Ivan Cleary, father of star Penrith halfback Nathan, is currently contracted as the Wests Tigers’ coach until the end of the 2020 season.
Nathan is on contract at the Panthers until the end of next season, with many speculating a move is on the cards for Cleary to join his father at the Tigers in time for the 2020 campaign.
However, the Sydney Morning Herald understand the Panthers have Ivan in their sights, and could potentially wrap up his signature in the coming days, if everything falls into place.
Both Cleary’s have spoken about their desire to work together in the future, although the likely destination always seemed to be the Tigers, given Ivan was only a recent hire.
However, it seems as though the Panthers are trying to stay one step ahead, and have removed Griffin in a bid to increase morale around the playing group, with some players making it known they weren’t a fan of Griffin.
SMH believe Ivan is close to Penrith’s chairman David O’Neill, and the Tigers are aware of the pair’s relationship.
The Daily Telegraph have reported the Panthers have received 12 applications for the vacant position overnight, but it seems as though they’ve only got one man on their shortlist.
If they can bring Cleary to the club to coach his son, it would be one of the biggest coaching moves in recent years.