The Panthers' James Tamou is tackled by the Knights' defence in their round-two encounter. Picture: Brendon Thorne/AAP
The Panthers' James Tamou is tackled by the Knights' defence in their round-two encounter. Picture: Brendon Thorne/AAP

Tamou elevated from leadership group to Penrith captaincy

JAMES Tamou has been named as Penrith's NRL captain after being 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 that comprised Tamou, James Maloney, Isaah Yeo, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Josh Mansour and Nathan Cleary.

It was a repeat of the coach's decision to name five leaders who shared captaincy duties at his 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 the preseason.

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

Cleary's decision came 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.

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

The leadership group will remain in place under Tamou.

- AAP

News Corp Australia

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