Lewis up for ‘massive’ Panthers task

Newly-named Penrith skipper Luke Lewis admits replacing departed captain Petero Civoniceva will be difficult.

Lewis, 28, was named earlier this week as the man to lead the Panthers next season after eleven straight seasons with the club.

“I always wanted to play for the Penrith club as a junior, and my childhood hero Brad Fittler captained for the club,” said Lewis.

Taking on the role left by Civoniceva won’t be easy admits Lewis, although he remains convinced the Panthers can improve on last season’s performance.

Penrith failed to make the play-offs by finishing 9th in the ladder but the arrival of General Manager Phil Gould and coach Ivan Cleary from the New Zealand Warriors has brought a new sense of optimism for fans.

Said Lewis: “They’re massive shoes to fill, but it’s something that I’m definitely looking forward to. I really believe we have a big year ahead of us.”

Head Coach Ivan Cleary says Lewis was an obvious choice to lead the side.

“It’s always great to have great leader, and I think we’ve got one ready to fill the boots of some of the great captains we’ve had in the past,” he said.

“As a player, he’s outstanding – not only on the field, but I think he’s also very well respected off the field.”

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