Penrith Panthers meet with David Fifita to discuss Gold Coast Titans second-rower replacing James Fisher-Harris

The Penrith Panthers are set to meet with damaging Titans back-rower David Fifita in Sydney over the next 24 hours as the reigning champions consider entering the market for his services.

After agreeing to release New Zealand prop James Fisher-Harris to the Warriors on compassionate grounds from next season, the Panthers have identified Fifita as a potential replacement in their forward pack.

The departure of Fisher-Harris will free up close to $1 million in Penrith’s salary cap for next year and the club has expressed interest in using some of that money on Fifita.

The Queensland second-rower has an option in his contract with the Titans for next season, but is yet to trigger the deal.

Sources with knowledge of the situation talking on the condition of anonymity told the Herald Fifita was due to fly into Sydney on Sunday afternoon to catch up with Panthers coach Ivan Cleary.

Fifita has until kick-off in the opening game of round 10 (this Thursday at 8pm) to take up the option in his Titans deal. Failure to take up the option will result in him becoming a free agent.

David Fifita could be on the move.

David Fifita could be on the move.Credit: Getty

Fifita’s partner, Titans NRLW player Shaylee Bent, hails from Glenmore Park just five minutes from Penrith. Fifita has told those close to him that he wants to win a premiership and is considering a move away from the Titans, who are languishing in 16th position after nine rounds.

The Panthers are known for their diligence in managing the salary cap and are unlikely to offer Fifita seven figures if they decide to pursue his services. A meet and greet on Sunday afternoon will be pivotal in determining the next step.

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