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Martin not out of favour at Penrith: coach

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/04/2017 Laine Clark

Anthony Griffin has dismissed talk that Te Maire Martin is out of favour at Penrith, saying the Kiwis international may make his NRL return next round.

Martin will again be sidelined when the Panthers look to break a four-game losing streak against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.

Bryce Cartwright has been retained at pivot despite a rusty return from an ankle injury in last round's 18-12 loss to Parramatta.

But Griffin said Martin was recovering well from a neck complaint and would push for an NRL comeback next round, contrary to reports this week.

There was speculation Martin had fallen out with Griffin, who reportedly had concerns with the Panthers pivot's "physicality and toughness".

Griffin said Martin would be considered for next round's clash with the Warriors on May 13.

"He's not far away. He's going well," he said.

"I know there was some stuff in the Sydney media this week about him being out of favour with us and there were other clubs interested in him - that was not the case at all.

"A lot of stuff you read in the papers you can't believe."

Griffin said retaining Cartwright at five-eighth should not be seen as a Martin snub.

"Te Maire was rested last week and Bryce was ready to come back," he said.

"With the short turnaround (ahead of the Broncos game) I think it is important we stay at that for the moment."

Penrith's 2-6 season start is their worst since 2013.

In the NRL era, only two of 41 teams have started a season 2-7 and made the top eight but never the top four.

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