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Penrith refuse to rule out Carney move

Penrith refused to rule out making a play for Cronulla's Todd Carney with the cashed-up Panthers on the hunt for a star playmaker after missing out on Johnathan Thurston.
Penrith refuse to rule out Carney move
by AAP

By Russell Jackson

SYDNEY, March 21 AAP - Penrith refused to rule out making a play for Cronulla's Todd Carney with the cashed-up Panthers on the hunt for a star playmaker after missing out on Johnathan Thurston.

Carney admitted during the week his contract talks have been called off because of the drug scandal surrounding the NRL club which resulted in Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan being stood down.

It leaves the NSW State of Origin five-eighth unsigned for 2014 with speculation clubs like Penrith and St George Illawarra are interested in Carney's services.

Penrith recently missed out on North Queensland superstar Thurston and while Cleary didn't want to talk about potential targets ahead of Sunday's home clash with South Sydney, he admitted they were looking for "good players".

"I don't really want to talk about recruitment today. It's pretty obvious we've been active in the market last year. We've been making a lot of changes," Cleary told AAP on Thursday.

"We're looking for good players but let's leave it at that."

The Panthers lost five-eighth Lachlan Coote for the season with a pectoral muscle tear with Cleary giving former Parramatta and Wests Tigers playmaker Tom Humble a shot at the No.6 jersey against the Rabbitohs.

"That's the great thing about professional sport. One door closes and another one opens and I'm really confident Tom will do a good job for us," Cleary said.

"It's up to him to stand up and do himself proud and take the opportunity."

Humble, 24, who will make his Panthers' debut on Sunday, is delighted to get a crack in his favourite position after playing halfback in Penrith's final trial against Parramatta.

"It's a huge opportunity for me to set myself for one position. I've played a utility role at the last couple of clubs and this is a chance to make a position my own," Humble said.

He believes the Panthers' pack hold the key to beating the Rabbitohs who have enforcer Sam Burgess returning from suspension after getting away with a 14-12 win over Cronulla on Monday.

"They don't get headlines like some other packs like Souths but they'll go forward against anybody and I'm looking forward to playing behind them," he said.




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