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Jennings told to look for new club

Date

By Chris Barrett, Michael Chammas

NSW Origin centre Michael Jennings has been told by Penrith that he is free to look for a new club as the ARL Commission prepares to reject the Panthers' application for a huge salary cap exemption.

As South Sydney became the latest team to be linked with Jennings, it also emerged that the ARLC was on the cusp of rejecting the submission filed by Penrith boss Phil Gould to alleviate the salary cap pressure on the club.

Uncertainty has clouded Jennings's future for weeks, but Penrith's intentions have now become clear.

The result is that he has effectively been offered a release from his $600,000-a-season deal that runs until the end of 2015 and asked whether he could find another NRL club.

Weighed down by salary cap constraints as a result of recruitment and retention decisions made before their arrival, Penrith coach Ivan Cleary and general manager Gould are endeavouring to give the Panthers some room to move in terms of their roster, and Jennings is the prime target.

One of the NRL's most exciting players when at the top of his game, Jennings - in the second season of a five-year contract - is regarded as too expensive given Penrith's salary cap predicament.

Getting rid of him, however, will be no simple exercise. Canterbury were reported at the weekend to have signalled an interest in Jennings - although officially they are denying any, having just signed Krisnan Inu - and there was speculation yesterday that South Sydney might be keen to add the left-side centre to their star-studded line-up.

But it is unlikely rival clubs will be willing to pay the 24-year-old the value of his current contract, meaning that even if he signed elsewhere, the Panthers would likely have to fork out a portion of his income themselves - and, crucially, have it still included in their salary cap.

Cleary would not comment at a Penrith recovery session yesterday, and Gould did not return calls.

Relatively new arrivals at the Panthers, they have taken over with the books in disarray in terms of player payments, with back-ended deals crippling their recruitment strategy.

Half of Penrith's salary cap for 2014 is reportedly taken up by only five players - Jennings, Luke Lewis, Lachlan Coote, Sam McKendry and Tim Grant.

Gould has taken the issue to ARLC chief executive David Gallop in an effort to gain some relief, but the indications last night were the Panthers will not be given special assistance.

The commission appears intent on not providing cap favours for one team, knowing that the other 15 would likely claim unfairness.

''The Panthers have provided us with a submission,'' Gallop said. ''It's not appropriate to go into the details but it goes without saying that salary-cap exemptions or concessions for one club and not others is a difficult hurdle to jump.

''There has to be consideration for the equality of the 16 clubs and their salary caps.''

Jennings was suspended for Penrith's 22-4 win over Manly on Sunday after throwing a wild punch at Brent Tate that earned him a sin-binning during the first State of Origin match last Wednesday in Melbourne.

Due to representative commitments, he has not appeared in first grade since May 5 after being demoted to NSW Cup feeder side Windsor Wolves by Cleary for drinking while injured on Anzac Day.

It is understood that was Jennings's third disciplinary breach, and while the club declined to note it as an official transgression - knowing that disciplining a player for having a beer on Anzac Day would be a bad look - they could terminate his contract as a result.

The difficulty of ripping up contracts, though, and the likelihood of subsequent legal action from the sacked player, makes this option a last-resort option for an already embattled Penrith.

NRL Season 2015

Round 1
Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6 vs SOU 36 Stats
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 24 vs NZW 14 Stats
GCT 18 vs WST 19 Stats
NQL 4 vs SYD 28 Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Stats
CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Stats
Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG 4 vs MEL 12 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Stats
CRO 2 vs BRI 10 Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40 vs GCT Stats
MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 34 vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6 vs NZW 18 Stats
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST 22 vs STG 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Stats
BRI 44 vs NQL 22 Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 29 vs PAR 16 Stats
CBR 20 vs STG 22 Stats
MEL 36 vs CRO 18 Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 20 vs WST 6 Stats
GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Stats
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 20 vs PEN 12 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Stats
CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Stats
STG 12 vs MAN 4 Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 16 vs BRI 24 Stats
SYD 34 vs CBR 6 Stats
Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL 18 vs MEL 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY 17 vs SOU 18 Stats
GCT 16 vs BRI 26 Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MAN 16 vs CBR 29 Stats
NEW vs STG 13 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD 12 vs CRO 20 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 6 vs WST 22 Stats
MEL 30 vs NZW 14 Stats
PEN 10 vs NQL 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 22 vs SYD 18 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 16 vs GCT 38 Stats
NZW 32 vs WST 22 Stats
PEN 22 vs MAN 12 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR 10 vs MEL 14 Stats
STG 31 vs CBY 6 Stats
Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 12 vs NQL 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 28 vs MAN 16 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT 32 vs PEN 6 Stats
NQL 28 vs NZW 24 Stats
MEL 17 vs SYD 16 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
WST 22 vs CBR 30 Stats
NEW 22 vs PAR 28 Stats
Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO 18 vs SOU 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14 vs WST 38 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NZW 28 vs GCT 32 Stats
NEW 24 vs NQL 26 Stats
SYD 12 vs STG 14 Stats
MEL 10 vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28 vs PAR 16 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN 26 vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22 vs CBR 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:35SUN
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs GCT 15:00GIO Stadium
CRO vs NZW 17:30Remondis Stadium
NQL vs CBY 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NEW 14:00BO
PAR vs MEL 16:00Pirtek Stadium
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs STG 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY vs SYD 19:35ANZ
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs NZW 15:00Pirtek Stadium
GCT vs CRO 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
MEL vs SOU 19:30AAMI
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBR 14:00WIN
NEW vs WST 16:00HS
Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PEN 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:45ANZ
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NQL 19:30CSS
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO Stadium
Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs BRI 19:00HS
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
NQL vs MAN 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
STG vs CRO 16:00Jubilee Oval
Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
SOU vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SYD 18:00MSS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs WST 19:45BO
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
GCT vs NZW 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs SYD 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CBR 15:00MSS
NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MAN 15:00MSS
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CRO 22:00MSS
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 22:00MSS
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NQL 22:00MSS
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
View All Fixtures
NRL Ladder 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D Pts
St George-Illawarra Dragons 8 6 2 0 12
Brisbane Broncos 8 6 2 0 12
Melbourne Storm 8 5 3 0 10
North Queensland Cowboys 8 5 3 0 10
Wests Tigers 8 4 4 0 8
South Sydney Rabbitohs 8 4 4 0 8
Gold Coast Titans 8 4 4 0 8
Penrith Panthers 8 4 4 0 8
View all
 
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