James Maloney scores a try for Australia during the Pool A, round 3 Rugby League World Cup match against Lebanon at the Sydney Football Stadium on November 11.
James Maloney scores a try for Australia during the Pool A, round 3 Rugby League World Cup match against Lebanon at the Sydney Football Stadium on November 11. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Latu's departure clears way for Maloney

JAMES Maloney's mooted shift to Penrith is increasingly likely after the Panthers' release of Leilani Latu from the remainder of his contract.

Penrith announced on Thursday that Latu had been granted the opportunity to pursue other options in the NRL and it was later confirmed the prop had signed with Gold Coast on a three-year deal.

"He has been tremendous for our club and his release from Panthers is purely a salary cap management decision,” Penrith general manager Phil Gould said.

"He is a great acquisition for his new club and we wish him well in the future.”

Latu will renew acquaintances with new Titans coach Garth Brennan, having played in the mentor's Penrith under-20s team.

His release should help Penrith seal a deal with Cronulla playmaker James Maloney.

The Australian representative is poised to join the Panthers as a direct player swap for Sharks signing Matt Moylan.



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