Sommerton keen to learn from Kenny as he locks in future at Penrith

Penrith hooker Luke Sommerton. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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Recently re-signed hooker Luke Sommerton said he’s thrilled to be staying at the Panthers until the end of 2025, learning everything he can under two-time Premiership winner Mitch Kenny.

It wasn’t that long ago that Kenny was in Sommerton’s shoes, squeezing every bit of knowledge out of current Tigers skipper and one of the game’s top dummy halves in Api Koroisau. But now the tables have turned, and the apprentice has become the master.

Sommerton said Kenny – who also re-signed with the Panthers this year – has been a huge role model.

“Mitch gives back massively, especially in defence – he’s like a kamikaze and I take a lot of inspiration from that,” Sommerton told Extra Time.

“When he’s not playing, he’s helping me all week and making sure that I’m feeling confident to do the job.

“Even in attack, Mitch is growing his game and I’m trying to do the same thing as I work on my game.

“I look at him and where he’s come from and where he was, and hopefully I can push my game further to get better like he has.”

Penrith hooker Mitch Kenny. Photo: Melinda Jane.

Prior to the bye last weekend, Sommerton filled in for Kenny who was a late withdrawal for Penrith’s clash against the Knights in

The 24-year-old only had a few days’ notice to prepare himself for just his second NRL game of the season – and fourth game overall.

“I got told I was playing pretty late in the week, but I’m pretty used to that – being ready whenever they need me,” Sommerton said.

“I have missed a fair bit of footy recently due to niggling neck and back injuries and hadn’t played a lot of Cup this year. That was probably the only nerves I had heading into the match, not getting much footy lately.

“Thankfully, I’m good now and hopefully I can stay injury-free.”

A Hill Bulls junior for more than a decade, Sommerton played Harold Matthews with Parramatta before joining the Roosters to play SG Ball and Jersey Flegg.

With connections at the Panthers, it didn’t take too long for him to find his way to the foot of the Mountains.

Luke Sommerton chats with reporter Nathan Taylor. Photo: Melinda Jane.

“I had a lot of mates at Patrician Brothers in Blacktown, so I always had a desire to come to Penrith and play with my mates,” Sommerton said.

“Seeing what they were doing here… it was a place I wanted to be. I got the chance to play Flegg for a few years and then progressed from there.”

Now the club’s number two hooker behind Kenny, Sommerton will remain in Panthers colours until the end of next season and will also be promoted to the top 30 squad.

“I love it here, it feels like home, and I didn’t want to be anywhere else,” Sommerton said.

“I was stoked that the club wanted to keep me around. I’ve been learning heaps, and I don’t want to go anywhere else.”

Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the Weekender's Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.

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