Panthers centre Dean Whare has agreed to a three year extension of his current contract, to stay on at Penrith until the end of the 2017 season.
Whare joined the Panthers at the end of 2012 and has gone from strength to strength over the past year, culminating in an outstanding performance for New Zealand at the recent World Cup.
Panthers Executive General Manager Phil Gould says Whare is now one of the top centres in the NRL.
“Dean Whare was one of the real success stories at Panthers in season 2013. He came to the club for an opportunity to play regular first grade and has now established himself as a representative centre of the highest order,” he said.
“I have no doubt Dean’s best football is still in front of him and we feel very lucky to have him at Panthers for the next four seasons. Dean thoroughly deserves this new deal.”
Coach Ivan Cleary says Whare has improved beyond anyone’s expectations.
“In 12 months Dean has not only cemented an NRL spot, but he’s also excelled at an international level for the Kiwis. He will continue to improve at the Panthers,” he said.
“Dean will become a mainstay in our backline over the next 4 years, whilst we continue to develop exciting youngsters such as Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, George Jennings and James Roberts.”
Whare says he appreciates the clubs faith in him.
“I want to thank Gus and the Panthers club for giving me the opportunity to extend my contract. I really love it here, the boys are great to work with, the members and fans are amazing and Penrith feels like home now,” he said.
“I have so much respect for Ivan and I’ve learnt so much under his guidance, and I’m looking forward to furthering my career with the Panthers family.”