Mansour says he was 'bitter and angry' at Panthers as he looks to future with Rabbitohs
Advertisement

Mansour says he was 'bitter and angry' at Panthers as he looks to future with Rabbitohs

Josh Mansour has admitted he initially felt "bitter" towards the Panthers after being told his services would no longer be required just 48 hours after the grand final, but he says he holds no grudges as he heads to Redfern.

With the Rabbitohs announcing on Wednesday they had signed the 30-year-old for 2021 and 2022, Mansour says he was caught off guard by Penrith's apparent eagerness to move him on so quickly after the defeat in the premiership decider.

Josh Mansour (centre) celebrates Penrith's preliminary final victory with Nathan Cleary (left) and Tyrone May in October.

Josh Mansour (centre) celebrates Penrith's preliminary final victory with Nathan Cleary (left) and Tyrone May in October.Credit:NRL Photos

"I got a text 48 hours after the grand final saying Ivan [Cleary] and the general manager [Matt Cameron] wanted to catch up for coffee," Mansour told the Herald.

"When I got the text, I kind of suspected what was going to happen. My wife was trying to calm me down at the time, but I already had it in my head what the chat was going to be about.

Advertisement

"The next morning my thoughts became reality. It was tough hearing. I was in shock. I was flooded with emotions. I was disappointed, angry, I was a bit bitter, I'm not going to lie.

"I just didn't see my time ending at the Panthers the way it did."

Josh Mansour has signed a two-year deal with the Rabbitohs.

Josh Mansour has signed a two-year deal with the Rabbitohs.Credit:NRL Photos

Despite claiming the minor premiership with the club, the Origin star was told by the head coach he had no future at the foot of the mountains as the club was eager to use youngster Charlie Staines on the wing.

Mansour said he and his young family had been so sure about his future with the Panthers that they had begun house hunting around grand final time, but that was suddenly "all flushed down the toilet" in November.

"It was tough for myself, but also for my family because it gave us a lot of uncertainty," he said. "I didn't see it coming ... two days after the grand final loss that was the last thing on my mind at that time."

With no clubs showing real interest until January, Mansour was quickly branded unwanted during the off-season with the Rabbitohs offer coming as a "massive wave of relief".

"I actually didn't really have enough time to get over [the grand final loss]," he said. "Everything just piled on top of each other.

"I wanted to try and relax as much as I could because it was such a long year ... but it was really hard too because I had this cloud of doubt and uncertainty hanging over my head the whole time. It was really tough."

Heading into the new year, clubs began to show interest, with the Tigers, Dragons and Eels also meeting with Mansour's management. But, having played 48 games in the national under-20s competition and an NYC grand final alongside Adam Reynolds, Mansour said South Sydney was always his first pick.

Loading

"My decision to go to Souths wasn't only based on the team ... I have a personal connection," he said. "I don't hold any grudges [towards the Panthers], I've moved on and I just want to start my new chapter in my life."

Rabbitohs head of football Mark Ellison said Mansour coming into the squad was made possible by Corey Allan's move to the Bulldogs.

“Josh is a highly experienced NRL and representative player that will bring many attributes to our team, the club and our community," he said.

“He is a high work rate winger who is one of the competition’s leading players in terms of kick-return metres, as well as a renowned finisher.

“More importantly, he is a quality team and club man that inspires his teammates and brings energy to any team of which he is a part.

“He knows what our club is about and respects the tradition and history of South Sydney, as well as the community that the club represents."

Sport newsletter

Sports news, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox each weekday. Sign up here.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading