PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 19: James Maloney of the Panthers kicks through for the try to Nathan Cleary during the round 18 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Panthers Stadium on July 19, 2019 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Penrith veteran James Maloney has long been linked with a move to the Super League at the end of the season, with the Panthers keen to release him before the final year of his contract in order to create some salary cap space.

However, their plans to see Maloney off may need to be changed, given the form he’s in and the situation regarding his replacement.

Tyrone May was long touted as Maloney’s successor, although his NRL career hangs in the balance after being stood down due to the NRL’s no fault stand down policy earlier this year, after charges of recording and circulating intimate images without consent were laid against him.

Maloney has impressed for the Panthers so far this season, and coach Ivan Cleary has now admitted to needing to re-think the club’s stance on the five-eighth’s future.

“It’s a good question,” Cleary said on Friday night following the club’s win over the Dragons when asked about allowing Maloney to move to England.

“Part of the reason we possibly could have when Tyrone May was in the equation but that’s very much up in the air.

“I’m not sure, pretty happy he’s on contract next year.

“The footy he’s playing though, I think he could stay in the NRL. But we’ll wait and see.”

Maloney turned 33 last month, and is contracted until the end of the 2020 season.


  1. Tyrone May, if convicted, should be barred for life. Jerome Luai should replace James, if he goes next year.

  2. Daine Laurie is a good back up 5/8th to Luai. Will continue to improve . They also have Dean Blore as a back half to Cleary. So if Maloney does go next year, there’s still plenty of promise there.

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