Penrith officials say they are “disappointed” after emerging half Matt Burton confirmed he had a signed an NRL deal with Canterbury.
The 20-year-old’s deal starts in 2022, meaning he will remain at the club next season.
It is understood Penrith won’t entertain the prospect of an early release for the youngster, who is stuck behind Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai at the club.
“While we’re disappointed with this outcome, it’s important we respect Matt’s decision,” Panthers General Manager Rugby League Matt Cameron said.
“He gave particular consideration to a contract extension at Panthers before opting to continue his career at another club.
“That said, Matt remains fully committed to Panthers for the upcoming season and we’re excited to see what the team will achieve in 2021.”
Penrith was very confident they’d keep Burton earlier in the season but it became evident late in the year he was seriously weighing up joining former Panthers Assistant Coach Trent Barrett at Canterbury.
The Bulldogs are expected to formally announce Burton’s signature later today.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.