NRL Rd 11 - Titans v Panthers
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 26: Stephen Crichton of the Panthers scores a try during the round 11 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Penrith Panthers at Cbus Super Stadium on July 26, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

The race to sign young Penrith star Stephen Crichton has intensified, with reports the Wests Tigers are set to offer a massive contract to lure him away, per Fox Sports’ James Hooper.

Crichton is fresh off a breakout year for the Panthers, where he scored 17 tries in 22 games, and is out of contract at the end of 2021.

The future of the 20-year old has been up in the air since the back-end of last year, when reports surfaced that he agreed to a “handshake agreement” with Penrith head coach Ivan Cleary.

The contract was supposed to be a three-year term worth $1.5 million dollars, a deal that the Panthers expected him to sign following the 2020 NRL season.

But since then, Crichton has refuted the handshake, telling The Sydney Morning Herald that he’ll look at what is best for him and his family.

According to Hooper, Wests are circling for his services, with the intention to play Crichton as a fullback in 2022.

This means that the Tigers have plans to play Crichton’s Penrith teammate Daine Laurie, who will be at the Tigers in 2022 as five-eighth.

It is believed that Crichton is a “snowflake’s chance in hell” to leave Penrith in 2022.

What will work in Penrith’s favour is that they’ll have a bit more room to sign Crichton to a high offer after winger Josh Mansour departed for South Sydney during the week.


  1. Hope you’re correct Panthers 18. It would be nice if they’d get any deal over with straight away. Instead of this he’s staying, he’s going here, he’s going there crap.
    Do the Tigers ever do anything for themselves? Even their development players are often from Penrith.

  2. Just a thought. Any deal for Crichton is not dependent on the players at Penrith in 2021, or the salary cap for 2021. So not having Mansour at the club for 2021 is only part of the story. Penrith can offer any amount they wish to to keep him for 2022 onwards. As long as the club can make the cap work after next season. Even a deal including any Independent Corporate Sponsorship amounts , if they can make that happen.

  3. He is apart of the Mt Druitt group. Spencer Leniu has re-signed, as has Brian To’o. Jerome Liau will re-sign. He will stay.

  4. If he plays outside Luke Brooks he will be lucky to score 5 tries a season. Chrichton is the player he is because he plays outside halves that create space for him, and forwards that go forward. Without that space he will struggle to make an impact.

  5. I do recognise his talent. I just believe, in my own opinion, that a lot of his opportunities this season came from the service he received from his half and 5/8. I lost count of how many tries he scored off Luai’s kicks in goal or running unders off his halves. I don’t think he will get those opportunities playing outside Luke Brooks and won’t be as affective trying to bash his way through the opposition.

  6. I agree with with regards to loss of opportunities with Brooks. Brooks is not a great player. Crichton is powerful, and strong, he is great.

  7. No one on here would be Alexander The Great & not be a Penrith supporter. Greg Alexander, the best player Penrith ever produced.

  8. Just a question. Who’s the other centre for 2021. Getting rid of Mansour is only half the job done. Not even that, if they’re still paying part of his contract next season. If it’s Whare ? That’s hopeless, as he should have been given the boot years ago. He’s one of the worst & slowest centres in the competition.

  9. I know there’s Naden. Will he be alright to play? Will the club allow him to play?
    Still get rid of Whare!!!

  10. Dont underestimate the power of a player wanting to play another position. IsraelFolau built 6ft4”freakish player, who could be the best fullback in the nrl.Already crowned best centre last year as a 19year old! Every team sticking 2defenders on Kikau opened up ALOT of time & space for him.He’ll be close to top tryscorer in 2021 regardless of club&position

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