2014 Dally M Hooker of the Year James Segeyaro has been dumped to reserve grade by Panthers coach Anthony Griffin.
The shock decision comes a week after Segeyaro, who is off contract at the end of the season, was warned by police in relation to the company he was keeping.
It came after he was photographed alongside fellow NRL players Corey Norman and Junior Paulo dining at The Century Chinese restaurant at The Star casino with former bikies boss Paulie Younan and alleged fraudster and money launderer Rafat Alameddine.
Segeyaro was injured in Penrith’s opening round game against Canberra and since returning a few weeks ago has mainly been used off the interchange bench.
The 25-year-old was one of the form players of the competition in 2014 but his form has waned somewhat in the past two seasons, with injury playing a significant role.
His omission from the team to play Melbourne this Saturday night is likely to intensify rumours that the club won’t be re-signing him beyond this season.
It is unknown if last week’s police warning is linked to him being dropped by Griffin.
The news that Segeyaro was to be dropped by Griffin started to filter out earlier today with speculation mounting that he may have played his last game for the club.
Peter Wallace has been named at hooker for Saturday night’s game. Tyrone Peachey and Jamie Soward have been named in the halves.
Chris Grevsmuhl is poised to make his Panthers debut after being named on a five man interchange bench.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.