Could Panthers young gun Matt Burton backflip on his deal with the Canterbury Bulldogs and stay at Penrith?

The emerging halfback has signed a two-year deal with the Bulldogs from 2022, with a player option for a potential third season.

Originally expected to struggle for opportunities at Penrith in his preferred five-eighth role, Burton has flourished in the centres this season for the undefeated side.

Penrith legend Greg Alexander joked that the 20-year old won't go anywhere after his impressive form.

“He’s backflipping, he’s not going to the Dogs,” a tongue-in-cheek Alexander said on Morning Glory with Matty Johns. 

“Matt Burton is now playing in the centres, and he’s keeping out the centres that were playing centres."

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NRL Rd 20 - Bulldogs v Panthers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Matt Burton of the Panthers celebrates scoring a try during the round 20 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium on September 26, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Image

it follows legitimate calls from Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher earlier this week for Burton to backflip on his Belmore deal.

Fletcher told The Sydney Morning Herald it would be in the best interests of Burton's career to remain at Penrith.

“For his development and his future, he would be far better staying with us next year,” Fletcher said.

“He’s a young bloke and his future would be assured here. He will keep climbing the ladder with us. I don’t know if that will be the case at the Bulldogs. One player can’t win games on his own.”

Burton has played 11 NRL games for the Panthers since making his first-grade debut in 2019.


  1. When are we going to make contracts legally binding or stop players signing with a rival club 12 months or more in advance?
    It’s an absolute joke if he stays put. I understand that dogs aren’t doing well this year and Panthers haven’t lost, he’s been at Penrith for years and forged strong playing and personal relationships with the players there, but mate, you signed with another team for a reason. Honour your contract, and not just Burton, all players, once you sign, locked in. No backflips.

  2. I understand and agree with you Suizzy, but in Matt Burton’s situation he was very young when he signed with the Dogs and the Panthers had Naden, Chrichton and Luai in front of him, and they have signed Paul Momirovski since then. If Burton maintains his current form it’s likely that Naden & Momirovski will be playing a fair bit of NSW Cup this year.
    The main thing in all of this is the player’s wellbeing & happiness, and if it means he will stay with the Panthers I don’t think there is any likelihood of him being forced to join the Bulldogs.
    I don’t know what the answer is to the now common practise of players breaking contracts, but maybe the cooling off period could be extended after a contract is signed.

  3. Matt has said he intends to honour his contract.
    Even if he decides to backflip it is to late.
    The only way he can get out of it is if the dogs agree to it and that ain’t happening.
    If the do you don’t agree to release his contract and he won’t play for them then he will have to stop playing in the NRL until his dogs contract expires.

  4. He has to honour his contract. Unfortunately for him . Though the Bulldogs will be stronger next season. Penrith made the mistake of introducing him to first grade as a half. They should of trained in up in the centres, before bringing him into first grade . Then made sure they kept him as a centre.
    No doubt that the Bulldogs will dump a whole other bunch of locals at the end of the season & add to their long list of imports. In their ‘no quick fix ‘. How many other Panthers can they add? They’ll look elsewhere as well I guess?

  5. Hey mreel…
    The next Panthers bargain junior buy at the Eels, has added a lot. Cartwright is never going to work the house down in defence. He does come off the bench & add a link in attack that Parramatta never had before. Those things he was always good at. Although it was stifled under the Titans coaching.
    Although the pass was forward , after he caught the bomb against the Bulldogs.
    You said he was rubbish , at the start of the year? Now Parramatta think he’s great! Another player from Penrith, that Parramatta will have to give an upgrade to.

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