TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 23: James Tamou of the Panthers walks from the field during the round 23 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Penrith Panthers at 1300SMILES Stadium on August 23, 2019 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Penrith captain James Tamou is determined to keep his role at the club as the Panthers field one the NRL’s youngest squads.

Last season Penrith started with a six-man captaincy group before whittling it down to Tamou in April.

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He played every game under Ivan Cleary to almost make the finals after a six-game losing streak.

Late in the season reports came out suggesting that Cleary would name his 21-year-old son Nathan as captain of the squad for 2020 after he was part of the captaincy group last season.

James Maloney, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Waqa Blake all left the club over the course of the season taking almost 600 games of experience with them.

Api Korosau has joined the team but most of the squad have still played less than 50 NRL games.

Tamou turns 31 next month making him the oldest player on the list and he is keen to hold onto the captaincy.

“If Ivan does give it to me, I would absolutely love to. This club has been a massive part of myself and my family so there’s nothing more that I would love to do than captain it again,” he told

“He’s got the vision there and like I said, there’s a good batch of boys coming through where I’m happy just to be the leader and put them on a good path.

“Every now and then you need to hear one voice but at the moment all of the boys are putting their voice in which is good to see.”

Tamous is off contract next year and free to negotiate with other clubs but only wants to stay with Penrith.

“Thinking about it right now, 100%, we’ve got such a young group here and there’s nothing more I want to do than stick around,” said Tamou.

“But first thing on my list is to play good footy to put my hands up for the Panthers to look at me.”

“I would love to stay, that’s my priority but there’s a lot of work that comes before it.”


  1. James Tamou needs to stay on as captain. Somebody has to lift up the Wooden Spoon at season end.

    Lets face it their local juniors struggled big time last season, even their so called local juniors from way out west in the Elvis/Spacemen Parkes district bush team were not of any use.

    My tip for 2020. Bottom 4 club.

  2. With Panthers will be a lot better with a quality hooker in Koroisau. That’ll fix a lot of their issues and I think getting rid of those players is a good thing. I think they should look to get rid of Dean Whare also then look to just pick up some cheap depth players.
    For example Marcelo Montoya, Herman Ese’ese and Mitch Barnett.

  3. Thank you Panther18.

    I have been accurate all season Tipping…1. Sydney for back to back premierships
    2. Soufths with their overrated pack to miss the grand final. 3. Latrell Mitchell and Fifita not playing with Soufths ever. 4. Tedesco for Dally M. 5. Tuakeiaho to be the Golden Boot. 6. Penrith to finish in the bottom five. 7. Pearce to play for NSW. 8. Steve.Syd to get banned (now back as TwentyOne. 9. Shadow to enter the lunatic asylum at Longbay Jail/Gaol. 10. Sydney Roosters to win back to back World Club Challege Cups creating history.

    And Panther18 thats just warming up. Wait until I get serious.

  4. 11. Liam Knight who got belted by the Roosters pack will not have the backbone to be Soufths pack leader.
    He is just to soft. But somebody has to lead a soft pack of Soufths forwards.

  5. I understand your attempt to mock and rattle my accurate knowledge, unfortunately I can only reply with factuality, certainty and truth.

  6. A fool disregards facts.
    What facts have I disregarded? I acknowledged the fact you tried
    your hand at sarcasm, but my answer to you was…..what? Sarcasm

    Bwahahahahahahahah have a good day. Thats all.

  7. I think Tamou is the obvious captain, because of his experience, and because Nathan will have more than enough control/responsibility as the dominate half.
    I didn’t/and still can’t understand the “Clearly’s” deal, but it will only be made worse by handing them even more control, if it proves to have been the wrong call.
    That said, 2020 is Ivan’s team.

  8. He’s a natural leader coming from the Easts NYC 2008… as a 19yo.
    To be cap compliant, we can’t keep them all.

  9. So true Chookstir. I would say there is at least two NRL teams scattered around the World of League in which players learned their trade at the Roosters or left the Roosters chasing bigger dollars.

  10. By the way, isn’t it peaceful around here now that TWlT0NE has been banned using his 2nd login Shadow the nutter.

  11. There’s plenty of actual Panther juniors around in coaching ranks & in charge of clubs.
    Brad Arthur, Des Hasler, John Cartwright, Phil Gould etc.
    They don’t have to try & claim blow ins , that once played somewhere.
    In fact , one of them was in charge of the Henny Penny Sombrero club for quite a while.
    Once all you have is blow ins, it’s hard to get away from that I guess?

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