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Penrith Panthers set to upgrade and extend contract of hooker James Segeyaro

THE Panthers are set to upgrade and extend the contract of a player determined to end his former club's finals hopes on Sunday night.

Former Cowboys hooker and Panthers revelation James Segeyaro has revealed that he wants to star at the foot of the mountains for the rest of his career.

Penrith have offered him a lucrative contract extension on the eve of the clash with the club that should never have let him go.

In a candid interview before taking on the Cowboys, the livewire dummy-half spoke of his spilt with North Queensland and explained how one call from Panthers coach Phil Gould convinced him to make the 2000km move from Townsville.

James Segeyaro. Getty Images
"I never wanted to leave the Cowboys," said the Papua New Guinea-born former junior Kangaroo.

"I moved up there and never thought I would leave. I was off-contract last year and thought I was going well.

"I thought it was all going to be OK, but I found the club had priorities and I wasn't one of them.

"I waited and waited and heard nothing. I would have stayed but I got the impression I was well down the list.

"I needed to get my future sorted and I eventually got worried and told my manager to sort it out. And then I got a call from Phil Gould."

Segeyaro, or Chico as he is affectionately known, was asleep when the phone rang.

He had never seriously thought of leaving the Cowboys until he heard the voice on the other end.

"I was a dead-set zombie when Gus called," Segeyaro said. "I was asleep.

"But I woke up pretty quick when I realised it was Gus.

"When he told me what he thought of me, I was seriously sprinting around the backyard. I was on such a high and I knew I was wanted, I knew where my future was and what I could be."

Segeyaro had offers from the Dragons and the Knights, but he didn't have to think twice about moving to the foot of the mountains.

"I had offers," Segeyaro said. "But the only one that interested me was Penrith.

"Gus told me I could be a hooker and I could play at least 100 NRL games. That was enough for me."

Segeyaro has now found his home. The player who once played for the Northern Pride in the Queensland Cup is refusing to test his worth on the open market despite his devastating form.

"They are pretty happy with me," Segeyaro said. "And I am pretty happy with them. They seem keen and I am more than happy to be a Panther for life.

"I would like to be with the one club for the rest of my career. I will be here as long as I can. The boys accepted me straight away and I felt like I was at home.

"I think my future is here."

The Sunday Telegraph understands Segeyaro will this week ink a new three-year extension. And he might just prove his worth when he tackles his former club at Centrebet Stadium on Sunday.

"I will be bolting out to put some shots on," Segeyaro said.

"But I will probably miss. I just hope I land one or two."

The Telegraph
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