Mansour makes a mountain of sense
THE Penrith Panthers are set to fend off interest from NRL rivals and re-sign Test and Origin winger Josh Mansour on a multi-year deal.
Panthers officials earlier this week said they are confident of securing Mansour's signature despite interest from the Roosters, Bulldogs, Tigers and Parramatta.
One Penrith official said the deal will be finalised within weeks.
Panthers centre Isaah Yeo believes Mansour deserves a strong deal given his valuable impact on the club, on-and-off the field.
"Josh has been outstanding for us, particularly over the past two years," Yeo said.
"He has been an Australian and NSW representative and he is a great boost for this side when he is playing.
"He has also become a leader in this side, especially in the backs. He is very vocal and that is a testament to the confidence he has in his game.
"When Josh is on the field we are a better side.
"I hope he stays because he is such a wonderful player and person for this club."
Mansour is currently sidelined after sustaining five fractures in his cheek and eye socket after copping a stray knee last month.
Despite the setback, including initial fears he could lose his eye, he remains hopeful of returning for Penrith in round 18 against Cronulla.
Mansour is one of eight first-graders the Panthers have lost to injury to this season.
The mountain men may be without over 400 games of NRL experience, but they continue to defy the odds with wins.
Yeo credits this mindset to coach Anthony Griffin's continual pursuit for perfection.
"It all starts with the coach," he said.
"Hook has done an exceptional job of making sure we are a tight-knit bunch and that we've got everything we need in terms of preparation.
"He is also fantastic with the boys, in terms of being able to relate to them on different levels."
Yeo also praised Penrith's cast of senior players for helping the younger players remain focused.
"The likes of Peter Wallace, Trent Merrin and James Maloney have all been outstanding for us and not just ability wise," he said.
"We've also got Reagan Campbell-Gillard who is coming through and becoming a leader, so we are not short on those types of players at the club.
"But it comes from the coach and at the moment there is a really good feeling around the team."