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Daine Laurie

Returning fullback Dylan Edwards knows exactly how much of a threat former teammate Daine Laurie will be when the depleted Panthers look to extend their winning streak to 13 games on Friday.

Knowing how to stop Laurie's influence from the back is another matter altogether.

The Panthers will be without seven players through Origin, while prop Moses Leota has been suspended, when they take on a near full-strength Wests Tigers outfit at Leichhardt Oval. 

Former Panthers captain James Tamou will lead the joint venture club which started the season poorly but has bounced back with three wins in five games.

However, it's another former player in Laurie who has the Panthers on red alert in a rivalry that began when coach Ivan Cleary defected from Concord to Penrith midway through his contract.

Laurie signed a two-year deal with the Wests Tigers from 2022 last November before gaining an early release in exchange for outside back Paul Momirovski.

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The arrangement for both clubs has worked out equally well with Laurie filling the Tigers' No.1 jersey with aplomb and Momirovski making the most of his opportunities at right centre for the Panthers.

Laurie still lives across the road to Panthers Stadium.

"That's my home, I've been there for five years," he said.

"[Penrith] were saying the whole time they weren't going to release me, which was all right.

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"Lucky Paul Momirovski wanted to do a swap so it turned out unreal. [Michael Maguire] really wanted me to come over which was awesome - I was going for the Rabbitohs when he was coaching them so to play under him is unreal."

Edwards, who ultimately stood in Laurie's way at the Panthers, was happy to see him find success elsewhere.

"I'm rapt for Daino, he had to do what was best for his career and that was going to the Tigers," Edwards said on Wednesday.

"He's been playing some great footy for them and has been one of their best, for sure. The good footy he's playing you've got to try and limit that.

"We have to be at our best because he knows this place pretty well too."

Panthers forward J'maine Hopgood said he couldn't wait to run into his former teammates.

Tamou offered plenty of experience for Hopgood, while he came through the under-18 system with Laurie.

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"Hopefully I can get a hold of him and give him a bit of treatment," Hopgood said of his close mate Laurie. 

"I'm sure there will be a bit of chat between us both. And I always looked up to Jimmy. I was a Cowboys fan as a kid so always watched him play and followed them when they won the comp. 

"He was awesome for me when he was here. It's great to have that challenge."

Edwards, returning from a two-week hamstring injury, believed the club was primed to keep Penrith's unbeaten season alive through the representative period.

"That challenge is something we're looking forward to and it just gives a few of the other boys who haven't had much of a run and we've got a couple of debutants," Edwards said.

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"We train together a lot and everyone buys into the systems we've got in place here.

"It's the next man up attitude we've got. Everyone who has come in so far to date has done a good job for us and we expect nothing less from the boys who come in this weekend.

"[Wests Tigers] will feel like it's a good opportunity but we'll do our best to try and stop that."

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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