Kurt Capewell played down suggestions rival players will ridicule him for his involvement in a porn film and said a bigger concern was chasing an NRL premiership in what could be his final year at Penrith.
Capewell played a starring role for the Queensland Origin team in game one, which helped the Maroons go on to an unlikely series win.
Kurt Capewell is tackled by Waqa Blake during the trial between the Panthers and Eels at Panthers Stadium.Credit:Getty
But a few weeks later, his on-field heroics were overshadowed by front-page news he had taken part in an X-rated movie when he was 20. The 27-year-old addressed his part in the video after it started to circulate on websites.
It was noted Parramatta players did not sledge Capewell in a trial on Saturday night, and he said he did not expect players to give him any lip about an incident he says “happened years and years ago”.
“It’s in the past and there’s nothing I can do about it,” Capewell told the Herald.
“It didn’t overshadow my year. I played in front of my family and won an Origin series [for Queensland]. I had a good year.
Kurt Capewell irons out Penrith teammate Nathan Cleary during last year’s Origin series.Credit:Getty Images
“I’m not expecting any [flak]. And I wouldn’t read into it anyway. It happened years and years ago. There’s no point worrying about it.”
Panthers teammates were quick to praise Capewell when he informed them about the video before Christmas, but privately know he will need to ignore any sledging.
Capewell is the only senior player still unsigned at the foot of the mountains, and his Origin efforts have driven his price north.
His future, he said, would be sorted if he and Penrith live up to the 2021 hype.
There remains a good chance Capewell could start in the back row ahead of Liam Martin, who can also play in the middle.
“I’m not worried about my next contract or where I’ll be – all I know is I want to win a premiership,” Capewell said.
“I know we’ve got a great opportunity to win one and I know if we’re playing good footy and I’m playing good footy, contracts won’t [be an issue].
“I’ve been in Sydney five or six years now. Obviously I miss home, I more so miss family, but we’ve got FaceTime these days, which makes it easy. It’s good to get back up there when I can.”
Capewell’s big-game experience will prove especially important after the departures of James Tamou, Zane Tetevano and Josh Mansour.
Capewell, who helped celebrate coach Ivan Cleary’s 50th birthday at training on Monday, said the experience of finishing runners-up in 2020 would help the Panthers take the next step this season.
“We have that extra experience with what we did last year and we know what we’re capable of,” he said.
“We’ve lost some key pieces with the older fellas, but some of the younger guys coming through, they’re unbelievable.”
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