The Penrith Panthers have won three competitions on the hop, and there is little doubt they enter the 2024 season as one of the teams primed to be in the mix yet again.

Ivan Cleary's side almost fell short in the 2024 grand final, but, as they have done time and time again over the last four seasons, found a way to get the job done and lift the premiership yet again.

The club come into 2024 with another key out as Stephen Crichton heads off to the Canterbury Bulldogs, and will spend the season preparing for another one with Jarome Luai already signing elsewhere for 2025.

But it hasn't stopped the men from the foot of the mountains in the last couple of years and is unlikely to slow them down significantly this time around.

Here are the key questions that will define the road ahead for Ivan Cleary's side.

4. Who takes Spencer Leniu's minutes?

Another of the big departures from the foot of the mountains heading into the 2024 season is that of Spencer Leniu, with the young prop linking up with the Sydney Roosters where he will become a critical part of their forward pack.

It's hard to blame Leniu for making his exit from the Panthers, given he was going to be stuck behind James Fisher-Harris and Moses Leota for the foreseeable future, with both signed on long-term deals.

Penrith's middle third rotation does take a hit out of his move though. While Isaah Yeo remains at lock, the pressure of performing Leniu's role this year transfers to Lindsay Smith, who played 23 games last year, but for the most part was utilised in a last man in the rotation type scenario.

He will need to step up as the key man off the bench this year, while Penrith also have Liam Henry coming through the system who will likely compete with Matt Eisenhuth for the other spot in the middle off the bench.

Again, they may not lose a great deal, but Leniu's aggression will be hard to replace, and the argument that their depth is as strong as last year will be tough to make as well.