The Panthers are planning on re-inventing Timana Tahu as a backrower but the troubled player must first apologise to the teenager who accused him of racial vilification last October.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal Tahu will meet the north coast teenager this week as Penrith is unable to sign the wayward star until his dispute with Caleb Binge is resolved.
Binge, who is now in the Broncos’ junior system, accused Tahu of calling him a “black c***” during a tournament but all attempts, including intervention by the Human Rights Commission, have failed to resolve the issue as Tahu has refused to face his accuser.
But his return to the NRL with the Penrith Panthers has forced the issue.
With former Parramatta halfback Dennis Moran, now a Country Rugby League welfare officer, the instigator and playing peacemaker, it is understood Tahu has agreed to a meeting with Binge in Brisbane on Wednesday to resolve the dispute.
The Panthers met Tahu’s manager on Friday and are close to finalising a deal.
Tahu wants a third-party sponsorship deal secured before he signs on to play with the club.
The Sunday Telegraph has learned Penrith coach Matt Elliott plans to play the centre in the back row.
“I guess that is one of the options available to us if we sign him,” Elliott said.