PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 13: Jarome Luai of the Panthers is tackled during the round 18 NRL match between the Panthers and the Sharks at Panthers Stadium on July 13, 2018 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

New deals for off-contract Panthers duo Jarome Luai and Stephen Crichton are imminent in a key coup for Ivan Cleary’s troops.

Penrith deputy chairman Greg Alexander has announced that the club is on the verge of announcing contract extensions for the pair.

It will be music to Panthers fans’ ears, with Luai and Crichton coming off breakout 2020 seasons.

Speaking on SEN radio, Alexander said he expects the club to officially announce new deals for both players this week.

“We are very close (to signing Luai and Crichton),” he said on 1170 SEN Mornings.

“Extremely close. I’m sure there will be announcements this week.”

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Luai played 23 games for Penrith last year, establishing himself in the halves alongside Nathan Cleary.

The 24-year old played a key role in Penrith’s grand final season, scoring seven tries and adding 23 try assists.

He has made 40 NRL appearances in total all for the Panthers since making his first-grade debut in 2018.

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Crichton became Penrith’s starting centre in 2020 and finished the season as the club’s leading try-scorer with 17 from 22 games.

He was named in the Dally M Team of the Year and earned selection in the NSW State of Origin squad.

The 20-year old has made 26 NRL appearances for Penrith since his debut in 2019


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