How Penrith’s NRL Grand Final Charge Was Built To Be A Pacific Powerhouse

There are two things the Penrith Panthers do well: grassroots development and nurturing the Pacific Islander players and their culture.

All but four of the club’s players starting with thirteen in Sunday’s NRL final are Pacific Islanders.

There are seven Samoan and two Fijian heritage players in the run-on side, with two more Pasifika heritage players on the bench.

If Penrith win the NRL Premiership this weekend, they will have won all four elite rugby league competitions in NSW this year: the NSW Cup, the SG Ball Cup (under 19s) and the Jersey Flegg Cup (under 21s).

To win all four in the same year is a first in rugby league history.

Penrith’s remarkable achievements this year prove that his path and development systems are the gold standard.

Good systems are then linked to the club that embraces its location and culture.

Penrith is located in Western Sydney – a rough heart of rugby competition with a large Samoan diaspora, especially in Mount Druitt.

According to data from Blacktown City Council data over the past 20 years, the number of Samoans in the area has more than doubled to 4.2 percent of Mount Druitt’s population.

Penrith has been at the forefront of cultural awareness and inclusion of players from the Pacific Islander and Samoan community.

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