Zak Hardaker

Penrith's Zak Hardaker to return to English Super League

The 2015 Man of Steel played 11 games for Penrith last season - 10 of them off the bench – after joining the Panthers midway through the year on loan from Leeds Rhinos.

Hardaker, who scored 67 tries in 155 games for Leeds, managed just one four pointer for the Panthers.

He has signed a one-year loan deal with the Castleford Tigers after NRL clubs baulked at the $525,000 transfer fee Leeds was seeking.

"There is no doubt he is an outstanding rugby league player," Tigers head coach Daryl Powell said.

English contingent excited by Hardaker's arrival

Hardaker joins the NRL as one of the most decorated players in the UK having been named Man of Steel in 2015 after leading Leeds to success in the Challenge Cup as well as the First Utility Super League Grand Final. 

Before he had even signed with the Panthers, current English players in the NRL described the 24-year-old as a great talent who would be well suited to the Australian style of play. 

Panthers release Segeyaro, sign Hardaker

The 24-year-old, who will begin training with the Panthers next week, played 154 games for Leeds after making his debut for the Super League club in 2011.

In 2015 Hardaker was named Man of Steel after helping Leeds win the Challenge Cup, League Leaders Shield and First Utility Super League Grand Final.

"This is truly exciting for the Panthers to have a current English international joining the club for the remainder of the 2016 season," Panthers Executive General Manager Phil Gould AM said.