SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 04: Panthers coach Anthony Griffin speaks to the media during the post match press conference after the round one NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Penrith Panthers at UOW Jubilee Oval on March 4, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Penrith Panthers could be looking for a replacement for coach Anthony Griffin, despite being in finals contention for 2018, according to James Hooper.

Hooper told Fox League’s Big League Wrap the team from the west could offload Griffin in favour for Trent Barrett and John Cartwright.

If this talk indeed becomes reality, Griffin could find himself coaching in the English Super League or elsewhere in 2019.

Griffin has been at Penrith for three years which has seen him coach 68 games with 40 wins at a winning rate of 58.8%.

Hooper said the noise surrounding the coaching position at Penrith continues to grow.

“The noise won’t go away at the moment, that perhaps Anthony Griffin might move on at the end of the season and he could end up coaching over in the Super League or somewhere else,” Hooper said.

“That would mean that perhaps the door opens for Trent Barrett and John Cartwright, who won a premiership at the Panthers many years ago when they won their inaugural title, to go back out west and head up this young gun roster.

“It is arguably one of the best lists in the competition.”

With the Panthers being considered finals contenders this season, no decision on the future of their coach will be made before September, but there are fears all the off-field distractions could translate into their on-field performances.

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This could’ve been made evident last week if it weren’t for a late comeback win against the Sea Eagles, as the Panthers were looking down the barrel of five loses in their past six games.

It’s no surprise Phil Gould is willing to spice things up, as he has previously replaced a successful coach in Ivan Cleary with Griffin back in 2015.

Hooper reveals nothing is set in stone, but it’s hard to ignore all the speculation.

“This noise has been simmering away in the background for most of the year and I don’t think Saturday’s result would have a bearing on it either way,” Hooper said.

“If it had gone the other way and they lost to Trent Barrett and John Cartwright, then maybe it would have flared up even more so.

“It is just a ‘watch this space’ at this point in time because as we know in rugby league, things can turn on a ten cent piece.”


  1. It’s no secret that Gould has a man crush on Barrett. Trent would make a great puppet coach at the Panthers.
    As long as Griffin doesn’t come to manly.
    Sebold might be looking for a new gig.

    • Why would Seibolb be looking for another club, and if he did, Manly would be the very last place he would want to go, if Barrett gets his chance to get out of there, he will and you could blame him.

      • Penso I’m keen to hear your thoughts on my theory: that the Broncos are using Seibold to make Walters jealous and come crawling back to the Broncos??!!! Barrett will be sacked at end of the year and, also will Brad Arthur. Seibold will stay put. Bennett to the Raiders, Stuart to Manly, Barrett to the Panthers. Brad Arthur to the Tigers. Both Cleary’s to link at Roosters after Cronk retires. Trent Robinson to fix up the Eels……..(this is all happening throughout the next 5 years)

        • Wow souths 4ever, that there is some interesting theories.
          I believe that Seibolb will go to Bronco’s, i don’t want him to, but the fact he said he does not want any discussion until the end of the season, the same line the Bronco’s board have gone down, makes me not confident, also this isn’t to make Walters jealous, i believe that they do not rate him as a coach, If Souths were to lose Seibolb, i hope Souths get Bennett on the rebound, let’s face it, he is a great coach who is provan and Seibolb still needs to prove himself and his tactics for the rest of the season will be interesting to see, cause we are under the pump at the moment and the Melbourne game will tell us where we are at.

          Robinson isn’t going anywhere, just signed a new 4 year deal, unless he doesn’t win a comp this year or next, then Polites will get rid of him and your 5 year plan may work.

          Barrett will go to the Panthers if offered a deal, Manly are a basket case and will be for quite some time, they have no money.

          Staurt is a bad coach in my opinion, Canberra should have got rid of him years ago, perhaps Manly deserve him, but Toovey needs to go back there.

          Brad Arthur to tigers, no way, he will stay at Parra and Cleary will bring his son to the tigers.

          Let’s hope Souths breathe new life into this competition, nobody wants to see a Melbourne Easts grand final, that would be terrible, plus no one would watch.

        • Penso, Everybody that loves League will watch the grand final no matter who makes it. 14 of the last 20 grand finals have had an out of town team in it and fill the ground whilst TV ratings went through the roof. A Sydney vs Melbourne grand final would be a classic, However I still believe it will be a Sydney vs South Sydney grand final😎

        • Can someone please pay the Storm to throw their season to allow an Easts vs Souths Grand Final. It will be great for the NRL, sell out, TV ratings, a buzz around the stadium, communities involved, plus the Storm v Roosters GF would have no team for the neutrals!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Souths4ever. If anybody can remember what I said at the beginning of the year then your fears will go away. What I said was that Melbourne will struggle come the big games during the end of the season and in the semifinals due to the fact they have a rookie half back. I said they would miss the organizational skills of Cronk and will not play in the grand final. Hence my tip for a Roosters vs Rabbit big one.👍🐓🐇👎

  2. Who would want to be a coach at Penrith, with Gould looking over your shoulder. He has turned into a Peter Moore type CEO clone, who he bitched about for meddling in his coaching during his term at Canterbury. Short memory.

    • Great thought – would love to see Gus & Bennett team up together.

      Absolute 100% chance of tears…

  3. Panthers need a more inspiring coach and i don’t know if Trent is that.. the uncut version of his presser wasn’t a good look.
    Special thanks to TTurbo for handing us the game last weekend.

  4. I’ve been a fan of Trent, and I do believe the players play for him each week, but maybe manly need this and look very seriously into the new coach, one that can turn everything around on and off e field and that will demand better facilities and opportunities for players..
    Get tooves back maybe, butbuse some old players to help… spud Carroll would be great for the forwards, beaver hangs around now maybe he does more, somehow get killer Lyon to come in coullentimes a season to help Kelly and walker out…
    There is no doubting manly has a very good core group of players to build a team around just need some new faces and a management to run it all properly…

    • Manly should go hard for Matty Johns. We need someone like him but he will never leave Fox/Radio – he’s doing very well. He lives local too.

      the other option is Beaver and Tooves – working together.

    • Bob Fulton is the reason your club is in the position it is, remember when he dodged all those questions, he stuffed Manly big time.

  5. Barrett is totally out of touch with NRL coaching. Phil Gould has a great football brain but I can’t possibly see Barrett linked to Penrith. This bloke has no answers to Manly’s problems and went hunting for a nobody 5/8 in Crocker to replace Green when he already had a 5/8, halfback in Hastings. Barrett being a 5/8 himself from his playing days should know better. Like I said this coach is not up to NRL standards and there is noway in the world Penrith will be silly enough to chase this coach.💪🤠👎

  6. I don’t rate Barrett as a coach – probably a good assistant coach – same with Cartwright. Agree with Screaming Eagle – Gus wants someone who will do what he wants rather than an experienced coach who will challenge him. I don’t think an experienced coach would go near Penrith. Maybe Freddy Fitler might do it – Gus’s other man crush!

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