NRL Rd 9 - Sharks v Panthers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Liam Martin of the Panthers waves to the crowd after the Panthers won the round nine NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on July 11, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

They may be farewelling some valuable contributors in Viliame Kikau and Apisai Koroisau among others, but Panthers fans will be buoyed by the news that the club is on the cusp of a three-year extension for NSW Origin and Kangaroos World Cup back-rower Liam Martin.

The club is also preparing to get into negotiations with Brian To'o and Stephen Crichton, who are both preparing for the World Cup with Samoa, as per the Sydney Morning Herald.

All three of the star players are free to talk with other clubs come November 1, but insiders suggest the club is much closer to securing Martin than his teammates.

Martin has already expressed his desire to remain at the foot of the mountains many times, and another premiership has made it that much harder to leave.

“Absolutely it does,” Martin told the Herald.

“Hopefully we get it figured out because I want to stay here.”

Martin was far more coy about his World Cup prospects throughout the season, but will now join teammates Isaah Yeo and Nathan Cleary at the World Cup.

“To be picked, it's because of all these boys who allow me to do my role the best I can and make me look better.

“It'd be a massive honour to represent Australia and if I get the chance, I'll give it my all.

“It'll be extra special to be alongside Isaah and Nath, they make me feel comfortable in any environment I walk into.”