AAP Rugby

James Tamou named Panthers NRL captain

By AAP Newswire

James Tamou has been named as Penrith's NRL captain after he was elevated from coach Ivan Cleary's six-man leadership group.

The Panthers confirmed the former NSW State of Origin prop's rise on Tuesday, ahead of Thursday night's clash with Cronulla.

Cleary named an extended leadership group in February also including James Maloney, Isaah Yeo, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Josh Mansour and Nathan Cleary.

It was a repeat of his decision to name five leaders who shared captaincy duties at former club Wests Tigers in 2018.

It's understood the veteran coach had always planned on naming a single captain but deemed it too early to make the decision in pre-season.

Penrith have previously been burnt by the appointment of Matt Moylan as captain, made by former coach Anthony Griffin in his first pre-season in charge in 2016. Moylan now plays at the Sharks.

Cleary's decision comes after Yeo and James Maloney took over from the medically-retired Peter Wallace midway through last season.

Yeo has battled numerous concussion scares and injuries to start this season.

Meanwhile, Tamou's selection as captain comes after reports he was on the outer at the NRL club last season and had been shopped around to rivals.

The leadership group will continue to remain in place under Tamou.