BATHURST Panthers will boast arguably the best pack in the Group 10 premier league competition next season after securing the services of Garrett Field and Simon Osborne.
Prop Osborne and second rower Field will join what was an already formidable pack with the likes of brothers Blake and Brent Seager, Greg Behan and Panthers coach Todd Barrow.
“Personally I don’t know a great deal about Garrett, but he comes with a pretty good reputation,” Bathurst Panthers president Dennis Comerford said.
“He has obviously played in Group 10 before with Orange CYMS, I think he won a grand final with them, and of course he went up and played in Queensland at a very high level in the Queensland Cup.
“Now he’s come back and I think he should be a very good asset in our forward pack.”
While Comerford knows Field, who played for the Central Queensland Capras, is a talented enforcer by reputation, he is much more familiar with Osborne.
The Group 10 and Western Rams representative played junior league with Bathurst Panthers and spent time in the club’s premier league outfit before moving to Newcastle.
As well as having an impact with Bathurst Panthers and Orange CYMS, Osborne has worn the blue and white of St Pat’s and played in a grand final for the Mudgee Dragons in 2010.
“Simon has decided to come back, I understand he basically wants to finish his career off at his junior club, so he is going to have a run with us,” Comerford said.
“He is a big, strong, hard player and you put the like of him and Brent Seager together, well anything can happen there.
“Both Simon and Garrett have been signed for next year, but there is that option there if they want to stay on. I’d say based on reputations and previous playing history, we’d definitely be keen to keep them on for more than one year.”
The signing of Field and Osborne will not only strengthen Panthers’ forward stocks, but their premiership credentials.
This season Panthers fell one win short of the making the grand final, losing in the preliminary final by two points to eventual champions Mudgee.
“We’ve sat down and discussed over the last two years and based on how the comp goes and our playing history, if you haven’t got four good players who can play in the front row, you are going to struggle a bit,” Comerford said.
“Having these blokes is certainly going to be an asset when you put them with the players we had this year.
“We had Blake Seager come back late in the season after injury and he was an asset in the second row, Leigh Monaghan coming over from Blayney, he was an asset as well.
“It is a pretty good mix of forwards to take us forward.”