Panthers nab Capewell to bolster forwards

Matt Encarnacion
Former Shark Kurt Capewell has agreed to a two-year deal with the Panthers

Penrith have bolstered their second row stocks for the next two NRL seasons after adding off-contract forward Kurt Capewell.

Capewell, who was called into Queensland State of Origin camp this year, had been without a home since his contract with Cronulla expired last month.

But the 26-year-old is confident of finding another gear under coach Ivan Cleary, where he'll battle with the likes of Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo for a starting role.

"With the coaches and the players here, I think this club will give me a great opportunity to take my game to the next level," Capewell said on Tuesday.

"My focus is to earn a starting role with consistent performances and then help the younger players in the squad find consistency as well.

"I made my NRL debut in Penrith so I already have fond memories of Panthers Stadium. I'm looking forward to being on the home team next year."

Capewell has played 65 games since debuting in 2016.

He was drafted into the Maroons camp this year as a possible utility player, having been used on the wing, in the centres, and the second row in his career.

He'll be a huge boost for a Penrith side that have lost plenty of experience in Reagan Campbell-Gillard, James Maloney, and Tim Grant from last year's squad.

"Kurt is a quality player and a great team man who was deservedly on the cusp of an Origin debut this year," Cleary said.

"Considering his age and NRL experience to this point, we're confident he's in a position to play the best football of his career here at Panthers."