Penrith has this afternoon announced the shock signing of Dragons playmaker Jamie Soward.
Soward will join the Panthers from next season after signing a four year deal with the club.
The 28-year-old, who debuted with the Roosters in 2005 before switching to the Dragons in 2007, has played three State of Origin games for New South Wales and is St George-Illawarra’s all-time leading point scorer.
Panthers Executive General Manager Rugby League Phil Gould said Soward “is a marquee signing for the Panthers club”.
“He is a tremendous talent, proven at the highest levels of our game. He also brings with him great experience and leadership qualities,” Gould said.
“Jamie is an outstanding role model for the youth of western Sydney and his obvious popularity with the kids makes him a perfect ambassador for our club’s community and Junior League programs.”
The Panthers will be hoping that Soward is an answer to Penrith’s playmaking problems in the halves and whilst Soward is a noted five-eighth, it puts the future of current halfback Luke Walsh in some doubt.
Penrith started the year with Lachlan Coote at five-eighth and whilst he’ll miss the rest of the season through injury, it seemed certain that his move into the number six jumper was permanent.
Soward has played more than 150 first grade games. He kicked a field goal to give the Dragons a 13-12 win over the Tigers at the SCG last weekend.