The Panthers have confirmed the signing of forward Chris Smith on a one-year deal for the 2022 season.
The 27-year-old returns to Panthers following stints with Sydney Roosters and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Originally hailing from Darwin, Smith made his NRL debut at Panthers in 2015 after developing through the lower grades at the club.
“I’ve always seen myself as a Panthers man so being back in Penrith feels like coming home,” Smith said.
“I played my junior footy with so many of the players who are still here. I’m excited to link up with them again.
“For now I’m focused on ripping into pre-season and hopefully getting an opportunity in the NRL next season.”
A former Australian Schoolboys representative, Smith has played 33 NRL games and made three appearances for the Indigenous All Stars.
“As a player who developed through the Panthers system, it’s great to have Chris return to the club,” Panthers General Manager Rugby League Matt Cameron said.
“He exemplifies many of the personal qualities that we want the young people in our club and community to aspire to.
“His character and experience will be a valuable asset for our NRL squad heading into 2022.”