Penrith five-eighth Jamie Soward believes the club has the right tools in place to cover injured Panthers captain and Soward’s halves partner, Peter Wallace.
The 28-year-old former Bronco and Penrith junior was injured early on during Penrith’s big win over the Wests Tigers last Sunday.
According to club doctors, Wallace suffered a grade 3 medial ligament tear in his knee and also injured his ankle in the same incident. At best, he’s expected to miss the next six weeks.
With Penrith’s NSW Cup side sitting on top of the table with 10 straight wins to their name, Soward believes coach Ivan Cleary has plenty of options available to fill Wallace’s big shoes.
“I think we’ve got good depth in those positions,” he said.
“Our NSW Cup team is going really well and we’ve got some guys in form there. We also have some other guys that can slot in.”
Those ‘other guys’ include in-form Panthers fullback Matt Moylan, who is no stranger to a role in the halves, and utility forward Tyrone Peachey, who filled in for Wallace last Sunday.
“It will be up to Ivan but Tyrone is a very talented player,” Soward said.
“You saw on the weekend he slotted in fine and we didn’t miss a beat too much. He can pretty much do anything he wants.”
The combination between Soward and Wallace has been one of the biggest factors of Penrith’s success on the field this season.
Soward said the loss of Wallace will test Penrith’s resolve, individual players included.
“We have an important month coming up without our captain,” he said.
“I don’t think my role will change too much. I’ll probably have to call a few more sets and take on a bit more responsibility when we have the ball in attacking sets.”
Ivan Cleary will name his team, including Wallace’s replacement, at 4pm today.