Penrith Panthers prop Spencer Leniu’s bizarre remark after signing with Roosters

Panthers front-rower Spencer Leniu has made a bizarre remark after signing with the Roosters, declaring the Tricolours “the pinnacle of the NRL for a number of years” despite Penrith’s extraordinary recent success.

Leniu became the latest of a string of Panthers stars to link with a rival club amid Penrith’s salary cap squeeze, penning a deal with the Roosters from 2024.

The Samoan international will join Panthers teammate Stephen Crichton in heading for the exit doors at the end of this season, in which Penrith is aiming to become the first club in the NRL era to win three consecutive premierships.

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“The decision was purely based on the benefit of me and progressing my career,” Leniu told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I felt like I had to get out of my comfort zone and try something new and challenge myself. That was the most important thing to making the decision.

“There are a lot of other things I took into consideration.

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“Trent (Robinson) is a really good coach and the Roosters have been the pinnacle of the NRL for a number of years. There was an opportunity there for me and he explained what he sees in me and how I can impact that team.

“Western Sydney is my home and I’ve never really been further (east) than Blacktown. Moving to the east will be a difficult transition, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Leniu’s hopes of becoming a starting front-rower have been blocked at the Panthers by destructive duo James Fisher-Harris and Moses Leota.

Leniu is expected to arrive at the Roosters and replace 34-year-old Kiwi international Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, who’s likely playing his last season in the NRL.

The Bulldogs were also in contract negotiations with Leniu but, unlike the Roosters, didn’t table an offer.

The Roosters will add Leniu and Knights winger Dominic Young to their roster for 2024.

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