HE'S the Bear that is embracing life as a Panther - Blayney native Liam Henry has just been awarded a contract upgrade with NRL Club Penrith.
It was revealed on Monday that the Blayney Bears graduate has been upgraded to and NRL Development Player contract by Penrith for the remainder of season 2022.
It's a step Henry had been due to take next year with the plan to then see him progressing to the NRL squad in 2024.
The upgrade is a reward for what Henry, a talented prop has done in the NSW Cup competition for the Panthers this season.
He's made 18 appearances, in the main off the interchange bench, and been a real impact player.
Henry has scored two tries, had 20 tackle breaks and made 849.6 post-contact metres.
He's also made 454 tackles with a 95 percent efficiency rating.
As well as Henry, Sunia Turuva and Thomas Jenkins, who were both NRL Development Players in 2022, have been promoted to the top 30 squad for the remainder of the season.
Having re-signed with the club early this year, Turuva will remain in the NRL squad until at least the end of 2024, while Jenkins is committed to the club until the end of next season.
The trio of contract upgrades finalises the Panthers NRL squad for the 2022 season.
"On behalf of all at Panthers, I'd like to congratulate Sunia, Thomas and Liam on signing contract upgrades with the club," Panthers Rugby League CEO Matt Cameron said.
"Having all progressed through the Panthers pathways system, the contract upgrades are great examples of the built from within culture we have cultivated at Panthers.
"With Liam having played his junior football at Blayney Bears and Thomas at Young Cherrypickers, their commitment to Panthers highlights the club's strong relationship with the western corridor and country rugby league.
"Not only has the trio developed into quality rugby league players, but they are also quality men off the field."
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