NRL 2020: NZ Warriors' loanee Jack Hetherington set to be recalled by Panthers during suspension

Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary admits they will likely recall Jack Hetherington from his loan at the NZ Warriors with the prop set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to suspension. 

On Saturday, Hetherington was charged with a grade three careless high tackle charge by the NRL's Match Review Committee charged for his dangerous tackle on Manly Sea Eagles prop Martin Taupau during the Warriors' 26-22 win on Friday. 

Usually, that would attract a three-match ban, but due to Hetherington's poor disciplinary record, he is facing a four or five-week ban depending on his plea.

Hetherington only has 22 NRL games to his name and he is already facing his fifth suspension of his short career. 

The 24-year-old has been one of the Warriors' best players since arriving at the club on loan and has played a big role in the terms recent run of form with aggressive carries and big hits. 

But if he isn't going to be playing, then Cleary doesn't see the point of his remaining at the Warriors for now, as he won't be able to return to the field until round 17 at the earliest.

"It's disappointing, i'm not sure how it will work but I dare say he'll come back but we'll see how it all unfolds," says Cleary. 

Henry Perenara sends Jack Hetherington to the sin bin.
Henry Perenara sends Jack Hetherington to the sin bin. Photo credit: Getty

"If he's going to be out for that long, he may as well be with us and we can work out what happens after that." 

If Hetherington is recalled, Cleary didn't rule out giving him back to the Warriors once his suspension is complete, but it all depends on the situation with both teams. 

Hetherington wasn't going to feature regardless in the Warriors' next match as they face the league-leading Panthers, who extended their unbeaten run to a club-record eight games following their 28-12 win over the Canberra Raiders on Saturday night. 

The only other time Penrith have strung together eight in a row was in 2003, as they went onto win the NRL Premiership. 

Victory over the Warriors would see the class of 2020 beat that record and they will be confident having won seven of their last nine games between the two teams.

Join us at 8pm Friday for live updates of the NZ Warriors v Penirth Panthers NRL clash