Panthers coach Anthony Griffin has handed Hardaker a starting spot with Josh Mansour unavailable through Origin duty.
But with Matt Moylan a late introduction to the NSW team on Wednesday evening for the injured Adam Reynolds, Hardaker could potentially be now moved to fullback.
Hardaker along with Will Smith and Dylan Edwards are the candidates for the number one jumper.
Penrith host the Sharks at Pepper Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Hardaker played 29 minutes off the bench in the centres last weekend against Wests Tigers.