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Luke Lewis (born 11 August 1983) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and the Penrith Panthers in the NRL. He was an Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative utility player.

Luke Lewis
Luke Lewis Penrith.jpg
Personal information
Born (1983-08-11) 11 August 1983 (age 36)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight105 kg (16 st 7 lb)
Playing information
PositionSecond-row, Lock, Centre, Wing, Five-eighth, Halfback
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2001–12 Penrith Panthers 208 89 0 0 356
2013–18 Cronulla Sharks 116 33 0 0 132
Total 324 122 0 0 488
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2004–08 City Origin 5 2 0 0 8
2004–14 New South Wales 17 1 0 0 4
2003–15 Australia 16 6 0 0 24
2012 NRL All Stars 1 1 0 0 4
As of 4 March 2018
Source: [1]

He played for the Penrith Panthers between 2001 and 2012, winning the 2003 NRL Premiership with them. A versatile player, Lewis played (but not necessarily started) in every position in first grade football. Lewis also played representative football as a winger, centre, lock and second row, and won first grade Man of the Match awards as a centre, lock, second row, five-eighth and halfback.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Luke Lewis was educated at Patrician Brothers' College Blacktown,[2] and spent his junior career with Blacktown City Junior Rugby League Football Club in the Penrith district.[3] In early 2011, Lewis married his partner, Sonia Di Loreto.[4] The couple welcomed their first child Hazel Nicola in April 2016 and their second, Levi Alexander in March 2018

Early careerEdit

2001Edit

In Round 25 of the 2001 NRL season, Lewis made his first grade NRL debut for the Penrith Panthers against the Melbourne Storm off the interchange bench in the Panthers 28–24 loss at Etihad Stadium. Lewis finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing in 3 matches.

2002Edit

In Round 3 against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Lewis scored his first NRL try in the 18–10 loss at Remondis Stadium.[5] He finished the season with 17 tries from 23 matches, including 2 hat tricks.

2003Edit

In the 2003 NRL grand final, Lewis played on the wing in the Panthers 18–6 win over the Sydney Roosters.[6] Lewis played in 25 matches and scored 18 tries for the Panthers in the 2003 NRL season. He was selected for the Kangaroos 2003 Tour squad, but did not play.

2004Edit

As 2003 NRL premiers, the Panthers travelled to England to face Super League VIII champions, the Bradford Bulls in the 2004 World Club Challenge, playing at centre in the Panthers 22–4 loss.[7] Lewis played for NSW City Origin at centre and scored a try in the 22–18 loss to NSW Country Origin at Central Coast Stadium.[8] Lewis was selected to play all three games of the 2004 State of Origin series on the wing and in the centres for New South Wales. Lewis finished the 2004 NRL season with him playing in 21 matches and scored 11 tries for the Panthers. Lewis was again selected for the 2004 Kangaroo tour but was not able to tour due to undergoing surgery for a shoulder reconstruction.

2005Edit

Lewis played for NSW City at centre and scored a try in the 29–22 win at Lismore.[9] He finished the 2005 NRL season with him played in 19 matches and scoring 12 tries.

2006Edit

Lewis played for City at centre in the 12–10 loss in Dubbo.[10] In Round 11 against the Parramatta Eels, Lewis played his 100th NRL match in the Panthers 30–20 win at Penrith Stadium.[11] Lewis finished the 2006 NRL season with him playing in 16 matches and scoring 4 tries.

2007Edit

Lewis played for City at centre in the 12–6 loss at Coffs Harbour.[12] Lewis finished the 2007 NRL season with him playing 21 matches and scoring 6 tries for the Panthers.

BreakthroughEdit

2008Edit

In May, Lewis almost joined the South Sydney Rabbitohs on a 4-year deal but reneged on an unofficial deal.[13] City at second-row in the 22-all draw against Country at WIN Stadium.[14] Lewis finished the season with 17 matches and 5 tries for the Panthers.

 
Lewis playing for Australia in 2009

2009Edit

Lewis was picked as 18th man for the Australian side to play in the 2009 Anzac Test, but did not play. Lewis was named as 18th man for the squad to represent New South Wales in the opening State of Origin match on 3 June, in Melbourne. He was subsequently called into the team following the suspension of Glenn Stewart, his first appearance in Origin since 2004.[15] Lewis played 15 matches and scored 5 tries for the Panthers. At the end of the season, he travelled to Europe with Australia for the 2009 Four Nations tournament, and was selected to play and made his debut against England off the interchange bench in the 26–16 win at JJB Stadium.[16] Lewis played in 3 matches and scored a try for the Kangaroos including playing at second-row in the 46–16 Final win against England.[17][18]

2010Edit

For the 2010 Anzac Test, Lewis played second-row in the 12–8 victory against New Zealand.[19] In the 2010 State of Origin series, Lewis played in Games 1 and 3, with a one match suspension ruling him out of Game 2. Lewis played alongside Penrith teammates, Michael Gordon, Trent Waterhouse and Michael Jennings during the series, which Queensland won for the fifth consecutive time. Lewis was named Penrith's best player in a successful season for the club, finishing second on the NRL ladder. Lewis also won the 2010 Dally M Lock of the Year award.[20] Lewis played 21 matches and scored 5 tries for the Panthers in the season.[21]

Lewis was selected for the Australia's 2010 Four Nations. He scored his first try against England, and another minutes later, before unselfishly giving up a hat-trick, setting up Willie Tonga.[citation needed] He was awarded Man of the Match, despite succumbing to an injury in the three-quarter mark of the match. Lewis played at second-row in the Kangaroos 16–12 Final loss to New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium.[22]

2011Edit

Lewis was included in the 2011 State of Origin series, selected in Game 2 and 3 off the interchange bench. Under the new Blues coach, Ricky Stuart, Lewis was interchanged on the field in the 28th minute of the second game, and scored a try on his first touch of the ball in the 30th minute. The NSW Blues went on to win 18–8.[23] Again, Lewis joined teammate, Jennings in Origin camp. However, despite NSW winning Game 2, Queensland won the State of Origin series for the sixth consecutive time. Lewis finished the 2011 NRL season with him playing in 14 matches and scoring 4 tries for the Panthers. Lewis was also selected to represent Australia in the 2011 Four Nations tournament which was held in the United Kingdom. In Round 2 of the Four Nations, Lewis scored for Australia, diving over the line (playing wing) in the 17th minute, where the Kangaroos beat England, 36–20 at Wembley Stadium.[24]

2012Edit

In February, Lewis played for the NRL All Stars team off the interchange bench in the 28–12 win over the Indigenous All Stars.[25] In Round 5 against the club Lewis signed with, the Sharks, Lewis played his 200th NRL match.[26][27] For the 2012 Anzac Test, Lewis was selected to play for New Zealand at lock in the Kangaroos 20–12 win against New Zealand at Eden Park.[28] The 2012 State of Origin series came with plenty of controversy for Lewis, with Penrith club coach, Ivan Cleary stripping the captaincy off Lewis, and giving it to hooker, Kevin Kingston for what Cleary promised to be temporary and only for the duration of the Origin period.[citation needed] Kingston was retained as captain for the remainder of year, and many suggest that this was a catalyst for Lewis' defection from Penrith to Cronulla.[citation needed] Lewis featured in all three Origin games, starting the opening match in the position of second-row, and was considered one of NSW's best in a losing series. Lewis had been contracted to Penrith until the end of 2014,[29] however, on 9 July 2012, Lewis was granted a release from the remaining two years of his contract at the Penrith Panthers, prompting scenes of shock, confusion and outrage in the rugby league world, with many suggesting the stripping of the captaincy by coach, Ivan Cleary, being a major catalyst in Lewis' defection.[30] On 20 July 2012, Lewis signed a 4-year contract with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, rejecting contracts from the Wests Tigers, Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels[31] – joining teammate, Michael Gordon in reuniting with former Penrith teammates, Ben Pomeroy and Wade Graham. Lewis was the final member of Penrith's 2003 Grand Final squad to play at Penrith, with season 2012 being his final year at the club. Lewis finished the 2012 NRL season with him playing in 13 matches and scoring 2 tries.

Transfer to Cronulla SharksEdit

2013Edit

For the 2013 NRL season, Lewis joined the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks who were in turmoil due to an ASADA investigation into the use of banned substances at the club over previous seasons. In Round 1, he made his club debut against the Gold Coast Titans at second-row in the Sharks 12–10 win at Remondis Stadium.[32] In Round 7 against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Lewis scored his first club try in the 24–8 loss at Central Coast Stadium.[33] Lewis was selected for Australia in the 2013 Anzac Test and played from the interchange bench, scoring a try in the 32–12 victory over New Zealand at Canberra Stadium.[34] Lewis' form was also impressive enough to earn him a spot in the New South Wales team for the 2013 State of Origin series. Lewis finished his first year with the Sharks with 4 tries from 20 matches. At the end of the year, he was selected for the Australian squad to travel to Europe for the World Cup tournament. In Australia’s match against Fiji, Lewis suffered a dislocated shoulder after crashing into an advertising sign while scoring a try.[35]

2014Edit

After Lewis recovered from his shoulder injury, he returned to the Sharks squad in Round 9 against the Parramatta Eels filling in at five-eighth for the injured Todd Carney.[36] Lewis was selected on the interchange bench for New South Wales in Game 1 of the 2014 State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium on the 100th State of Origin match in the Blues 12–8 win.[37] Lewis was selected for the interchange bench in Game 2 in the 6–4 win, resulting the Blues breaking their 8-year losing streak to Queensland.[38] Lewis played off the interchange bench in the Game 3 in the 32–8 loss.[39] In Round 21, Lewis suffered a season ending leg injury.[40] He finished the season with one try from 8 appearances.

2015Edit

Named as the captain of the Sharks 2015 Auckland Nines squad, Lewis later withdrew due to injury.[41] For the 2015 Anzac Test, Lewis was selected for Australia , playing off the interchange bench in the Kangaroos 26–12 loss.[42][43] In Round 13 against the Sydney Roosters, Lewis scored his 100th NRL career try in the Sharks 10–4 win at Remondis Stadium.[44] In Round 18 against the St George Illawarra Dragons, Lewis played his 250th NRL career match and scored a try in the Sharks 28–8 win at Remondis Stadium.[45][46] Lewis finished the 2015 NRL season with him playing in 22 matches and scoring 11 tries for the Sharks.

2016Edit

On 28 January, Lewis was named as one of the co-captains alongside Chris Heighington of the Sharks 2016 Auckland Nines squad.[47][48] On 2 October he won the NRL Premiership with the Cronulla-Sutherland sharks. Lewis won the 2016 Clive Churchill Medal as best on ground in the Grand Final.

On 24 November, Lewis signed a one-year contract with the Sharks to remain at the club until 2017.

2017Edit

Lewis became the second Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks player, the other being Chris Heighington (in round 5) to join the 300 games club when the Sharks hosted the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday 21 July 2017.

2018Edit

Lewis spent the majority of the 2018 NRL season with a calf injury, Lewis was expected to sign a contract extension with the Sharks because of his consistent form when playing. He decided not to renew his current contract saying "I ended up pumping it out but when I started questioning myself, I just knew that it was time to make the decision to hang them up."[49]

Lewis played 17 games for Cronulla in his last season at the club. His final game before retirement was the 22-6 preliminary final loss against Melbourne at AAMI Park in which Lewis scored a try.[50]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Luke Lewis – Career Stats & Summary". Rugbyleagueproject.com. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  2. ^ Ritchie, Dean (4 July 2008). "Eels have inside knowledge on Penrith". The Herald Sun. News Limited. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  3. ^ Phelps, James; Massoud, Josh (20 June 2008). "Panthers Masada Iosefa and Wade Graham set for debut". The Daily Telegraph. News Limited. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  4. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/sport/panthers-take-break-as-lewis-gets-hitched-20110122-1a0i6.html
  5. ^ "Round 3, 2002: Cronulla 18 – Penrith 10 at Toyota Park [Archive] – Sharks Forever Forums". Sharksforever.com. 30 March 2002. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Panthers climb their mountain". Smh.com.au. 6 October 2003. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Rugby league: Bradford Bulls 22 – 4 Penrith Panthers | Sport". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Country put the boot into City slickers – League". Smh.com.au. 8 May 2004. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Bushwacked: slick City hold on – League – Sport". Smh.com.au. 7 May 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  10. ^ "City Origin vs Country Origin [Archive] – The Newcastle Knights Forum". Marathonstadium.com. Archived from the original on 28 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Eels' week ends on a low – League – Sport". Smh.com.au. 19 May 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  12. ^ "City too strong for Country – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. 3 May 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  13. ^ "South Sydney Rabbitohs lose Luke Lewis". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  14. ^ "City against Country rugby league finishes 22–22". Couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Penrith five-eighth Luke Lewis primed to snare Origin spot". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  16. ^ "England 16 Australia 26: match report". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens picks Luke Lewis for second-row in Four Nations final selection shock". Herladsun.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Australia Give England A Pasting". Couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  19. ^ "Kangaroos v. New Zealand Trans-Tasman Test at AAMI Park in Melbourne". Couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  20. ^ Brad Walter. "Todd Carney wins the 2010 Dally M award". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Australia end England's Four Nations campaign with 34–14 win in Test match at AAMI Park". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Kangaroos Crack Again As New Zealand Wins Four Nations Final 16–12". Couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
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  24. ^ "England 20 Australia 36: match report". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  25. ^ Brad Walter. "NRL All Stars win Gold Coast thriller". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Cronulla Sharks beat Penrith Panthers 15–14". Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  27. ^ "Penrith Panthers' favourite son Luke Lewis was nearly lost to the club". Adelaidenow.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  28. ^ "Australia beat New Zealand 20–12 in Anzac Test". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.4
  29. ^ "Luke Lewis signs long-term Panthers deal". News.smh.com.au. 25 September 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  30. ^ https://archive.today/20121230192631/http://www.triplem.com.au/sydney/sport/nrl/news/blog/nrl-rumours-of-the-week-lewis-to-leave-penrith-folau-to-bulldogs--thurston-to-panthers-in-2013/20120709-goh4.html. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ "Lewis Signs with Sharks". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  32. ^ "Passion Filled Cronulla Sharks Nab Gold Coast Titans In Nailbiter". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  33. ^ "Canterbury Bulldogs Defeat Cronulla Sharks 24–8 In NRL Round Seven". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  34. ^ "Australia Beats New Zealand 32–12 At Canberra Stadium". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  35. ^ Gardiner, Wayne. "Australia 34 Fiji 2: Kangaroos reach Rugby League World Cup quarter-final". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  36. ^ "Jarryd Hayne Stars In Ells Win Over Sharks While Andrew Fifitas Has NSW In Trouble". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  37. ^ "New South Wales Beat Queensland Maroons". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  38. ^ Kent, Paul (18 June 2014). "State of Origin game two live blog: NSW Blues v Queensland Maroons, ANZ Stadium". News.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  39. ^ "Maroons Back On Road To Success With Thrashing Of Blues". Couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  40. ^ "Jarryd Hayne Stars Again As Parramatta Eels Roll Cronulla Sharks". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  41. ^ "Luke Lewis Ruled Out Of Cronulla Sharks Squad With Knee Strain". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  42. ^ "Representative Round team lists". NRL.com. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  43. ^ "New Zealand's Comprehensive Defeat of Australia Could Spell the End for Coach Tim Sheens and Several Veterans". Couriermail.com.au. 12 July 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  44. ^ "Paul Gallen's Cronulla Sharks Upset Sydney Roosters 10–4". Dailytelegraph.com.au. 12 July 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  45. ^ "Be there to cheer Luke Lewis's 250th NRL game". NRL.com. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  46. ^ "Sharks hammer Dragons in derby". NRL.com. 12 July 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  47. ^ Cronulla Sharks name 2016 Nines squad. Rugby League Week (29 January 2016). Retrieved on 2016-02-04.
  48. ^ 2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines Official Squads. NRL.com. Retrieved on 4 February l2016.
  49. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-20/luke-lewis-to-leave-the-nrl-with-no-regrets/10019144
  50. ^ "Melbourne v Cronulla preliminary final". The Guardian.

External linksEdit