Staines targets regular wing spot after blistering Panthers debut

Charlie Staines hopes to force his way into the regular Penrith Panthers XIII after a spectacular NRL debut on Saturday.

The 19-year-old scored four tries as the Panthers claimed a 56-24 win over Cronulla Sharks to move top of the standings.

Staines became the first player to score four debut tries since Jordan Atkins for the Gold Coast Titans 12 years ago and one of just six to achieve the feat in the game's 112-year history in Australia.

Having only earned a starting spot after Dean Whare suffered an injury on Thursday, Staines wants to keep his place in the team even though his preferred position is full-back.

"Knowing what that feels like now, I want to be doing that every week," he said, as per the NRL website.

"I am just going to keep working hard at training and trying to get that wing spot if I can.

"I was a bit anxious going in because one of the boys got hurt and I didn't know what to expect. I was a bit nervous and I just tried to stay calm.

"I liked Melbourne growing up – Billy Slater and those fellows – but I have got a lot of pride in this jersey and I am very grateful to be playing for this club."

Staines was roared on by a group of friends and family that had travelled from his native Forbes, around five hours east of Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, to watch him make his bow.

"It's unreal that they all travelled up from Forbes," he said.

"Mum and dad always drove me everywhere for footy, wherever I needed to go, and for them to be here was amazing."

 

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