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.
Watch the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals on a Kayo 14 day free trial with every game before the Grand Final Live & On-Demand. Or, Telstra customers get $10 off Kayo per month for 12 months. Stream instantly!
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 NRL.com.
“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.”