PENRITH veteran fullback Rhys Wesser has managed to negotiate an early contract exit from the Panthers to link with South Sydney for 2 years. The 29-year-old flyer is believed to have agreed to terms with the Rabbitohs today – although club officials were not releasing further details at this stage.
“We have been talking to Rhys, yes,” said Souths’ Shane Richardson.
“If we could get someone on board like Rhys, a member of Penrith’s Dream Team and holder of all those tryscoring records, it would certainly assist what we are trying to do at the club.
“Hopefully there’ll be some news soon.”
Penrith boss Mick Leary said: “We have been chattin to Rhys and his manager and all our talks have been good. I have heard rumours he has decided to leave but I haven’t heard anything for certain.”
Wesser’s contract for 2009 is believed to be ‘sub-letted’ to Souths, who are paying him around $200,000 a season. Richardson and Rabbitohs coaching consultant John Lang were Wesser’s mentors when the Panthers took the NRL title in 2003.
The Panthers veteran Wesser joined the club in 1998, making his debut that year against Balmain. To date he has scored 112 tries, including 25 in 2003.
Over the past two seasons Wesser has faced selection challenges from Jarrod Sammut and Lachlan Coote, holding off both to retain his fullback jumper.
He recently said he did not want to leave Penrith and had been kept out of the loop in negotiations to do so.
Leary said the club had room to move under the salary cap regardless of whether Wesser left. The signing is expected to be confirmed by a South Sydney media release this morning.