The rift between the Bulldogs and Panthers is about to explode yet again after another raid on Penrith’s playing stocks.

PANTHERS- BULLDOGS RIFT INTENSIFIES

THE rift between the Bulldogs and Panthers is about to explode yet again with star centre Brent Naden set to sign a massive deal to move to Belmore.

The Panthers are already fuming at losing up-and-comers Jack Hetherington and Matt Burton to their former assistant coach Trent Barrett at the Dogs and the departure of controversial but talented centre Naden is set to push Penrith off the edge.

Sources have told Wide World of Sports that Naden is close to signing a rich three-year contract with Canterbury.

Barrett is desperate for more strike power out wide and Naden, a tall, speedy centre fits the bill perfectly.

The Tigers and Eels are also keen on Naden but he wants to link up again with Barrett, who was assistant coach at Penrith last year.

TIGERS IN RECRUITMENT COUP

Some much-needed good news for Tigers fans – the club has signed a brilliant young try-scoring winger from Papua New Guinea – effective immediately.

Jimmy Ngutlik, a 20-year-old speedster who was born in PNG but has been playing for Redcliffe Dolphins in Brisbane, has been on the radar of several NRL clubs.

But the Tigers have come to terms with the young flyer, who can also play centre, and he is expected to start in the club’s under 20s in coming weeks.

With the problems the Tigers have been having in the top grade out wide this year, don’t be surprised if he gets a start in the NRL once he has settled in to life in the big city.

RUDOLF CHASED BY RIVALS

If Cronulla lose rugged forward Toby Rudolf for next season, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

Rudolf is one of the most sought-after players on the open market, with half a dozen clubs after his signature.

The hard-running back-rower was a big fan of John Morris and the sacked Sharks coach had Rudolph talked into signing a new deal a few weeks back.

Morris told the board that he has Rudolf ready to put pen to paper but officials held the former coach in such contempt at that stage that they ignored his messages.

Rudolph is now fair game as a result – and cashed up rivals, headed by the Bulldogs, are circling him with big dollars.

MAGUIRE SPECULATION

So what is the real story with Michael Maguire and his future – or lack of it – at the Wests Tigers?

As with many major issues at the joint venture, it’s a tale of two factions, with the Tigers remaining a club divided.

The Wests Campbelltown faction want Madge out, while the Ashfield power base are happy for him to stay and hopefully turn things around after a disastrous start to the season.

Stand by for some ugly board room brawling in coming weeks – especially if the Tigers don’t turn things around on the paddock.

NRL

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