Album: Clearys Captain Call

Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary sacks Luke Lewis as captain for State of Origin period<br /> <br /> <br /> Luke Lewis has been sensationally dumped as Panthers captain in favour of hooker Kevin Kingston for clash against premiers Manly. <br /> In his biggest gamble since taking the reins at Penrith this season, coach Ivan Cleary has opted for Kingston to lead the side until Lewis completes his NSW Origin commitments in Round 19.<br /> <br /> <br /> Whether Lewis accepts the captaincy back remains to be seen, with the stunned 28-year-old last night declaring: &quot;I&#039;ve got a lot of thinking to do.&quot;<br /> Cleary dropped the bombshell when Lewis made his first appearance at Centrebet Stadium since exiting Blues camp.<br /> Having previously described the captaincy as &quot;the biggest honour&quot; of his career, the 12-Test veteran was devastated.<br /> The conversation unfolded within earshot of several teammates, including fullback Lachlan Coote and prop Dayne Weston, and the news quickly spread.<br /> Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.<br /> <br /> End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.<br /> Lewis confirmed the news when contacted last night but could not predict if he would accept the captaincy back after Origin.<br /> &quot;I can&#039;t really say too much at the moment,&quot; he said. &quot;I&#039;ve got a lot of thinking to do.&quot;<br /> While the &#039;c&#039; appeared alongside Lewis&#039;s name on this week&#039;s team sheet, Kingston has been told to attend the coin toss, speak with referees and front the post-match media conference this afternoon.<br /> It&#039;s understood Cleary feels Lewis&#039;s club form might suffer with added responsibility during the Origin period.<br /> The coach also wants a consistent captain for the gruelling eight-week stretch, with Kingston deputising in Lewis&#039;s absence last week.<br /> And it&#039;s not the first time Cleary has made a difficult and controversial leadership call.<br /> While coaching New Zealand in 2010, Cleary stripped statesman Steve Price of the captaincy and handed the honour to Simon Mannering.<br /> That decision proved a masterstroke after Mannering led the Warriors to last year&#039;s



Clearys Captain Call

Updated Jun 17, 2012
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Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary sacks Luke Lewis as captain for State of Origin period


Luke Lewis has been sensationally dumped as Panthers captain in favour of hooker Kevin Kingston for clash against premiers Manly.
In his biggest gamble since taking the reins at Penrith this season, coach Ivan Cleary has opted for Kingston to lead the side until Lewis completes his NSW Origin commitments in Round 19.


Whether Lewis accepts the captaincy back remains to be seen, with the stunned 28-year-old last night declaring: "I've got a lot of thinking to do."
Cleary dropped the bombshell when Lewis made his first appearance at Centrebet Stadium since exiting Blues camp.
Having previously described the captaincy as "the biggest honour" of his career, the 12-Test veteran was devastated.
The conversation unfolded within earshot of several teammates, including fullback Lachlan Coote and prop Dayne Weston, and the news quickly spread.
Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.
Lewis confirmed the news when contacted last night but could not predict if he would accept the captaincy back after Origin.
"I can't really say too much at the moment," he said. "I've got a lot of thinking to do."
While the 'c' appeared alongside Lewis's name on this week's team sheet, Kingston has been told to attend the coin toss, speak with referees and front the post-match media conference this afternoon.
It's understood Cleary feels Lewis's club form might suffer with added responsibility during the Origin period.
The coach also wants a consistent captain for the gruelling eight-week stretch, with Kingston deputising in Lewis's absence last week.
And it's not the first time Cleary has made a difficult and controversial leadership call.
While coaching New Zealand in 2010, Cleary stripped statesman Steve Price of the captaincy and handed the honour to Simon Mannering.
That decision proved a masterstroke after Mannering led the Warriors to last year's

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