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Capewell happy to step out of his comfort zone for Kevvie

New Penrith signing Kurt Capewell has the versatility that the Queensland Maroons need this year and insists he is ready to play in the centres if Kevin Walters so desires.

Last year the 26-year-old was in camp for the opening two games of the Holden State of Origin series.

Ahead of game two in Perth he was on standby as a back when Dane Gagai was struck down with a virus. Had Moses Mbye not recovered from a life-threatening medical condition sustained in camp then Capewell would have made his Origin debut.

The Maroons have lost Justin Hodges, Greg Inglis and Will Chambers in the past five years and have been forced to manufacture centres with Michael Morgan and Mbye playing there in 2019 despite playing most of their NRL football elsewhere.

Capewell is more at home in the back row but has previously played centre for the Sharks and for the Ipswich Jets in the Intrust Super Cup.

Walters told NRL.com last month that he viewed Capwell as a poential centre for this year's series.

"I am more than happy to play in the centres,” Capewell said in Maroons camp in Brisbane on Saturday.

"I have played plenty of centre in the NRL and it is good to be able to have that ability to chop and change, so if Kevvie gave me an opportunity to play in the centres I would take it with both hands and really embrace it.

"Centre is a position where it is hard to get involved in the game sometimes so I would do my best to get as many carries as I can and do the hard work to help out the team wherever they need.

"Obviously back row is the number one goal, to try and nail that at club level and improve my footy, and hopefully that will keep me in good stead for Origin level."

Kurt Capewell in camp with the Maroons in 2019.
Kurt Capewell in camp with the Maroons in 2019. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

The former Shark was due to join Queensland camp ahead of game one but after the team trip to the regional centre of Charleville, his home town.

Capewell called Walters and said he would pay for his own flights just to be a part of it before the Maroons fast-tracked him onto the plane and covered the costs.

"I was lucky enough to get called in to camp a couple of times last year and it was great to be a part of that," Capewell said.

"Unfortunately we didn’t come away with the series win but I think we definitely grew as a squad, so it is awesome to catch up with everyone and get back up into Queensland camp for a weekend and be back in the great state.

"Val [Holmes] is back now. We have young Brimmo [AJ Brimson] here and Ronaldo Mulitalo, who is only very young and hasn’t played many games but he absolutely killed it in the NRL last year, so we are definitely in good stead for this year’s series."

First up on Capewell's agenda is winning a spot in the Panthers side and shining in the early rounds of the Telstra Premiership.

"So far so good. I’ve had a tough pre-season so it should put us in good stead for the season," Capewell said.
"I have a great opportunity out there at Penrith. To be coached under Ivan [Cleary]  for starters was a big reason for me going out there.

“The squad itself is exciting me at the moment with a lot of young players and a lot of drive and hunger to do something special."