Long-term deal for Saab as Garner extends at Penrith

Jasper Bruce |

Jason Saab will remain with Manly until the end of 2029 after signing a new contract with the club.
Jason Saab will remain with Manly until the end of 2029 after signing a new contract with the club.

Anthony Seibold says Jason Saab is close to becoming a representative winger after the 23-year-old signed a contract extension that keeps him at Manly until the end of 2029.

It comes as cashed-up Penrith tie premiership-winning second-rower Luke Garner to a new two-year deal.

Rated one of the biggest aerial threats and fastest players in the game, Saab was previously contracted through 2026.

Injury has disrupted his 2024 campaign, with a hamstring problem suffered in the Las Vegas season opener sidelining him for more than a month before he went down again with a shoulder issue.

But Saab has returned to the field in recent weeks and shown impressive form.

“The improvement Jason has shown over the last 18 months is significant,” Seibold said.

“I believe he can now become an elite winger, a representative-class winger.

“It’s within reach. He has always had the potential.

“We’ve seen ‘Saaby’ score some great tries since he has come into first grade, but the consistency in his game has grown.”

Saab made his NRL debut for St George Illawarra in 2019 but has played 68 of his 75 NRL games for Manly, who he joined in 2021. He has scored 53 tries.

Saab is now on the second-longest contract of any active Sea Eagle, trumped only by State of Origin second-rower Haumole Olakau’atu, who is tied to the club through 2031.

Elsewhere, the Panthers have signalled their commitment to Garner by extending him through 2026, even as star second-rower Isaiah Papali’i prepares to join the club from next season.

Luke Garner.
Luke Garner sights a gap in the Warriors’ defence and goes on the attack. (Jason O’BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)

Garner arrived at Penrith from Wests Tigers, where Ivan Cleary handed him his NRL debut in 2018, and has become one of a handful of players to spend time in the left second-row spot vacated by Viliame Kikau at the end of 2022.

Also able to play centre in a pinch, Garner started from the bench as the Panthers took out the 2023 grand final with a 26-24 defeat of Brisbane.

The 28-year-old is set to bring up his 100th NRL appearance later this season, having played 97 first-grade games so far.

“To stick around here for another two years is pretty exciting. It’s great to see where this club is going and I’m looking forward to being a part of it,” Garner said.

The signing bolsters a Panthers outfit that has cash to spare after agreeing to release James Fisher-Harris at the end of the year. Securing a top-quality middle forward appears a high priority for the triple reigning premiers.