FOX NRL | Matt Moylan circled by rival NRL clubs: What does it mean for Penrith and their premiership hopes?

Fox Sports’ chief NRL reporter James Hooper told NRL Tonight the Panthers captain is disgruntled with the club and is being sounded out by a number of rivals.

Channel Nine is reporting Phil Gould will meet with Moylan early next week to discuss the situation.

So what would a Moylan exit look like? And where could he end up?

We answer the burning questions.

BOMBSHELL: Moylan’s future in doubt as clubs circle


It’s been a rollercoaster season for Moylan, who was handed the team’s captaincy at the start of 2016.

After an impressive 2016 season, his form in 2017 has been very much hot and cold, particularly at the beginning of the season when the Panthers had won just two from their first nine games.

During that tough stint, Moylan was dropped for the round six game against South Sydney after a night on the town.

Matt Moylan of the Panthers talks to referee Gavin Badger.
Matt Moylan of the Panthers talks to referee Gavin Badger.Source: Getty Images

A shift from fullback to five-eighth appeared to turn his season around before he was struck down with a hamstring injury that has caused him to miss four of the Panthers’ past six games.

During his injury lay-off the Panthers were still able to string wins together with the likes of Dylan Edwards, Nathan Cleary, and Tyrone May all playing key roles.

On top of all this, rumours of a potential rift with Anthony Griffin continue to grow louder, especially with the NSW representative called into a meeting with the coach and general manager Phil Gould this week, according to Fairfax Media.

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James Hooper says a number of NRL clubs have sounded out Moylan in the wake of his relationship breakdown at Penrith.

Exactly which clubs are interested is a secret. But we can take a guess at the parties involved.

Newcastle is one club with plenty of money spare in the salary cap. They would also jump at the chance to bring in an established playmaker.

The Knights have tried and failed to lure both Kieran Foran and Cooper Cronk to the club already this year.

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Coach Nathan Brown would love a more experienced player to slot in alongside young gun Brock Lamb. Kalyn Ponga will fill the fullback role for the club next year, while fellow recruit Connor Watson can play a number of positions.

Wests Tigers are on the lookout for a fullback to cover for the loss of star James Tedesco.

Moylan is one of the best ball-playing fullbacks going around, and would add another dimension to Ivan Cleary’s attack.

St George Illawarra is also on the hunt for a fullback, although the emergence of youngster Matt Dufty in the past couple of months may have answered that question.

And with Ben Hunt coming to the Illawarra on big money, it’s unknown exactly how much money the Dragons have to play with.

An outside option could be Melbourne. The Storm will replace the outgoing Cooper Cronk with young gun Brodie Croft next year, but veteran fullback Billy Slater’s future is in doubt.

With Slater’s retirement not too far down the track, Moylan and Cameron Munster could interchange between the fullback and five-eighth roles at the club.

The Warriors are short a quality playmaker and would tinker with the idea of trying to lure Moylan across the ditch.

South Sydney might need a fullback pending Greg Inglis’ fitness, to allow Cody Walker to remain in the halves.

Gold Coast may also be interested in Moylan’s signature if or when they cut ties with big-money player Jarryd Hayne.


The Panthers would lose their captain and a genuine star of the competition who can fill multiple roles in the team.

But in terms of impacting the actual make-up of the side, Penrith may find Moylan’s exit doesn’t impact selection all that much.

While he’s been sidelined this season through injury, a number of young guns have stood up and proven their mettle.

Nathan Cleary has taken control of the team and looks to be the man in charge even when his captain is on the field.

Then there’s Dylan Edwards, whose emergence at fullback has been perhaps the most exciting sign for Panthers fans. They haven’t missed much with him replacing Moylan at the back.

Matt Moylan of the Panthers.
Matt Moylan of the Panthers.Source: Getty Images

Tyrone May has also been impressive since making his debut to fill in for Moylan in the halves.

He’s a bigger body but is a solid playmaker and may yet turn into a star himself.

The other benefit of Moylan walking away would be financial.

He’s on big money at the club and his exit would free up plenty of room in the salary cap.


When Moylan and Bryce Cartwright re-signed on long-term deals last year it was trumpeted as the start of a new era at Penrith.

They were the two star players capable of leading the club to a title … or two, according to Matty Johns.

And while one player doesn’t win or lose a premiership, there’s no doubt Moylan can play a big role in the club’s fate one way or another.

He’s one of the more experienced players in the team, having represented his state and country, and could be considered elite.

But Penrith has enough talent coming through the ranks to suggest a premiership in the next five years isn’t out of the realms of possibility.

Nathan Cleary is a genuine superstar in the making, and Dylan Edwards looks every bit a class NRL fullback.

If the Panthers were premiership fancies a few months ago, that won’t change on the back of Moylan coming or going.


A supposed rift between coach and player would have to be untenable for starters.

Moylan is on big money with the Panthers until 2021, so any potential move to a rival side would need to be agreed upon by the club.

Because of the size of the deal, Moylan would also need to find a club that could afford him under the salary cap.

The move could spark a chain reaction across a number of clubs, similar to the domino effect a Cooper Cronk move would have.

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