A month ago Panthers coach Ivan Cleary declared hooker Wayde Egan was “not on the market” and rumours of his potential departure from Penrith were “wrong” and “incorrect”.
Rugby league, however, works in mysterious ways.
Today, the club confirmed the 22-year-old had been granted an immediate release to join the New Zealand Warriors.
“Wayde and his management this week approached Panthers to request an immediate release from the remainder of his contract,” Panthers General Manager Rugby League Matt Cameron said.
“As a club we would have liked Wayde to see out his contract however we also understand the opportunity presented by the Warriors was a difficult one for Wayde to turn down at this point in his career.
“Wayde’s request for a release has been granted out of respect to him and we wish him the best of luck moving forward.”
Egan’s future was clouded after Penrith signed Manly hooker Api Korisau, who will almost certainly start in the number nine jumper next season.
Mitch Kenny is also one of the club’s rising stars and filled in admirably at hooker this season.
Egan played 29 NRL games with Penrith.
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.