Panthers a shining light for youth: To'o

·2-min read

Brian To'o has leapt to the defence of teammate Jarome Luai, adamant he and the Penrith five-eighth only want to be a shining example for the youth.

Luai's name was splashed all over the headlines last week when a News Corp report claimed he was being investigated by the NRL's integrity unit over a social media post.

The report claimed Luai rapped drill music which, said the article, was linked to postcode warfare.

Penrith players had made a point of calling out the violence when it reached a crescendo earlier this year, following the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old at the Royal Easter Show in April.

In the time since several players, including Luai, have spoken for the need for peace and a life beyond teenage gangs.

The issue of postcode gangs has repeatedly become an issue for the NRL in recent months.

In August, NRL officials made phone calls to both Manly and the Warriors about post-try celebrations made in support of former Sea Eagles hooker Manase Fainu after he was convicted of a 2019 stabbing.

To'o meanwhile was unaware of the report regarding his close friend and five-eighth when asked about the issue this week, but was adamant he and other Panthers were strictly opposed to the violence.

"There are kids killing each other. Obviously it upsets us," To'o told AAP.

"There's plenty of young kids in the footy system going through that phase as well.

"We just want to keep doing what we do best and keep playing that footy to give them a light.

"To show them that there's another way for them to make it somewhere and do something with their lives for good."

To'o also said he was unfazed by the swing in commentary against he and fellow Panthers.

The dominant team of the NRL for the past three seasons, the club has endured claims of arrogance from Melbourne, Canberra and other pundits.

"Obviously there's going to be people that have their own opinions and disagreements about us," To'o said.

"We do what we do for playing footy and playing grade to put food on the table for the family, to inspire young kids.

"That's what we're about.

"People can have their opinions and stuff, it's alright. They can say whatever they want to say. We're just doing our thing and that's how it's going to be."

Penrith players were given Wednesday off before they finalise preparations for Saturday's preliminary final against South Sydney, with To'o expected to move to the left wing in place of the suspended Taylan May.