Charlie Staines insists he is committed to honouring the last 18 months of his Penrith contract despite slipping down the pecking order.
Staines has played 32 games for the Panthers since making his NRL debut in 2020 but the emergence of young winger Taylan May has kept him to only one first-grade appearance in the past seven weeks.
May looks set to keep his place in the side for the remainder of the season, having scored 14 tries from 13 games this year, while State of Origin representative Brian To'o has a lock on the other wing spot.
Up-and-coming outside backs Thomas Jenkins and Sunia Turuva are also rated highly internally and both will be promoted to the top 30 squad from next year.
Even though he is currently not in Penrith's first-choice 17, Staines says he is not yet contemplating requesting an early release from his contract which expires at the end of 2023.
"I'm pretty committed at the moment, I'm just going to keep playing some good footy and we'll see what happens," he told AAP.
The Panthers have yet to hold formal talks with Staines regarding his future but even if he remained at Penrith in 2023, the club likely won't have the funds to keep him beyond that.
Premiership players Stephen Crichton, Brian To'o, Liam Martin, Spencer Leniu and Scott Sorensen are all without contracts beyond 2023 and the Panthers will struggle to fit them all under the salary cap.
Staines said he would be particularly interested in linking up with a rival if given a chance at fullback, where he played as a junior.
The Dolphins are yet to sign an out-and-out fullback for their inaugural season and beyond while Canterbury look unlikely to retain Matt Dufty, who is off contract and languishing in reserve grade.
"I always grew up wanting to play fullback and if I get that chance somewhere, anywhere, I'd be keen," Staines said.
Staines will have the chance to tempt rival clubs when he lines up at fullback for Samoa in Saturday's Test match against the Cook Islands.
"I love playing fullback and to get the opportunity to play fullback in the representative arena will be a good experience," he said.
Staines is of Samoan descent through his grandfather but did not grow up around the culture, so has relished the chance to discover more about his roots ahead of the Test match.
"It's been really good. I've come in here and I'm learning heaps," he said.
"The leaders in the group, Marty Taupau, Josh Aloiai and those boys, have stood up and talked about what it means to play for Samoa. I'm very honoured to be a part of it."
Australian Associated Press
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