Penrith Panthers’ Kurt Capewell leaving video in the past


“It’s in the past and there’s nothing I can do about it,” Capewell told the Herald.

“It didn’t overshadow my year. I played in front of my family and won an Origin series [for Queensland]. I had a good year.

Kurt Capewell irons out Penrith teammate Nathan Cleary during last year’s Origin series.Credit:Getty Images

“I’m not expecting any [flak]. And I wouldn’t read into it anyway. It happened years and years ago. There’s no point worrying about it.”

Panthers teammates were quick to praise Capewell when he informed them about the video before Christmas, but privately know he will need to ignore any sledging.

Capewell is the only senior player still unsigned at the foot of the mountains, and his Origin efforts have driven his price north.

His future, he said, would be sorted if he and Penrith live up to the 2021 hype.

There remains a good chance Capewell could start in the back row ahead of Liam Martin, who can also play in the middle.

“I’m not worried about my next contract or where I’ll be – all I know is I want to win a premiership,” Capewell said.

“I know we’ve got a great opportunity to win one and I know if we’re playing good footy and I’m playing good footy, contracts won’t [be an issue].

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“I’ve been in Sydney five or six years now. Obviously I miss home, I more so miss family, but we’ve got FaceTime these days, which makes it easy. It’s good to get back up there when I can.”

Capewell’s big-game experience will prove especially important after the departures of James Tamou, Zane Tetevano and Josh Mansour.

Capewell, who helped celebrate coach Ivan Cleary’s 50th birthday at training on Monday, said the experience of finishing runners-up in 2020 would help the Panthers take the next step this season.

“We have that extra experience with what we did last year and we know what we’re capable of,” he said.

“We’ve lost some key pieces with the older fellas, but some of the younger guys coming through, they’re unbelievable.”

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Andrew Abdo defends reducing rookie camp after Kurt Capewell, Brent Naden, Bronson Xerri incidents


“It might be that this was done virtually and there was slightly less time but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to invest less during the year” he said.

“That’s the beauty about technology: we don’t have to have everyone together in one place … there’s a number of check-ins that will happen next year through our health and education team.”

Budding NRL stars at last year’s camp, which featured role-play sessions and talks from Ian Roberts.Credit:James Alcock

Abdo said there would also be “additional training” provided by the NRL throughout the year.

“All that’s happened is instead of it being two concentrated days, this is a shorter session, but it was virtual,” he said. “But there will be more and more regular sessions and more regular contact with the players, which is probably, to be honest, potentially an even better model.”

The NRL’s Rookie Camp brings in players aged 18 to 24 on varying levels of NRL contracts, who will likely make their debut in first grade either next season or the season after.

This year’s camp discussed Bronson Xerri, who tested positive for steroids in March, Brent Naden, who was suspended after admitting he took cocaine the night before the grand final, and Kurt Capewell, who was last forced to admit having participated in a porn movie before his NRL career took off.

This year’s group also received a stern address from Abdo, who outlined the level of “responsibility” required to play first grade.

“The message I gave to them was that … they’re on the brink of becoming professional rugby league players and on one hand that’s a wonderful opportunity, and on the other hand, a lot of responsibility,” he said.

“Making sure everybody understands that they are role models and whether they like it or not, the standards that apply to us in professional sport, and especially to players, are higher than the public.”

Last year, the group was told they would be the first year affected by a new ruling that states under-20 players must take part in at least one day of work or study a week to be eligible for selection in a first-grade NRL side.

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“From time to time, people make mistakes, that’s OK, but they need to understand the consequences of that,” Abdo said. “Equally you need to understand that ignorance is not an excuse.”

The NRL’s wellbeing and engagement manager Tony McFadyen said the responsibility of educating the players would be weighted more towards individual clubs going forward.

“We’ve got mandatory programs that we roll out anyway and it will be the staff at clubs doing it,” he said. “They’ve got now got a whole matrix of things that they can select, to use or to bring into their clubs.”

McFadyen said that while the education session had been reduced, the “key messaging” was still delivered to the players.

“We’ve got to hit some key things that the compliance side, but it’s also the way you do it, it’s about behaviour and behaviour change,” he said. “We don’t go in and say that you can’t do this, we say ‘look if you going do this there are responsibilities that come with that’.

“You’re responsible for your actions. So here’s the reason why making those decisions is so crucial.”

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Kurt Capewell supported by Penrith Panthers teammates after porn shock


“Now it’s resurfacing in group chats and I wanted to let you all know so you could hear it from me and so you all know the full story. I’m terribly embarrassed and ashamed even though it happened when I was so young.

Kurt Capewell in the adult video.Credit:Internet

“It’s something I’ve been dealing with for the past 8 years behind closed doors and I know you will all have my back and stand by me moving forward.”

At least one star Panther immediately feared for Capewell’s mental health after the dark secret he had been keeping his entire league career was exposed.

“It was super brave of him to come forward, I was shocked when I first found out, but I was immediately worried about his welfare … I didn’t want him to do anything stupid,” Josh Mansour told the Herald. “I didn’t care about anything else but him. We all let him know we supported him.

“He was obviously very desperate back then and he got conned into doing something he deeply regrets doing. It came back to haunt him, but we’re there to support him with whatever he needs.

“The Kurt Capewell we know is completely different to the Kurt Capewell back then.

Kurt Capewell irons out his Penrith teammate Nathan Cleary during this year's Origin series.

Kurt Capewell irons out his Penrith teammate Nathan Cleary during this year’s Origin series.Credit:Getty Images

“He’s got his life in order, he’s a guy who always helps his mates, and we just want to help him move past this. That’s all we can do.”

Back-rower Liam Martin said of Capewell: “I’m really proud of the bloke. He said he was dealing it with himself for a while, and once he told us the support from the boys was pretty incredible. We’ll always stick by him.

“There was no questioning from the boys, we didn’t know his circumstances from eight years ago. We were all like, ‘yeah mate, we’ve got your back’.”

Capewell notified police and the NRL Integrity Unit last year how an individual had tried to sell sexual images of him.

The former Cronulla forward receives treatment earlier this year.

The former Cronulla forward receives treatment earlier this year.Credit:Getty Images

Then 20 and playing for the Ipswich Jets in Queensland, Capewell responded to an advertisement for a photo shoot involving a clothing company on the Gold Coast. The photo shoot was changed to nude images and then eventually an adult movie was shot.

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“The organiser used more inducements and extra money for being in the adult film. I take full responsibility for what happened … I’m really embarrassed and annoyed for getting caught up in this type of thing,” Capewell told News Corp.

Capewell, who sparked Queensland’s fightback in Origin one last month in Adelaide, is in a long-term relationship with a woman and was worried about the impact the video would have on his family.

The NRL Integrity Unit looked into the incident last year but cleared Capewell of any wrong-doing. News Corp reported Capewell had signed a consent form on the day of the photo shoot.

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NRL 2020: Kurt Capewell porn sex tape scandal, interview


Panthers and Maroons star Kurt Capewell has opened up on a porn sex tape scandal that has haunted him for the past seven years, in the hope “others don’t have to go through what I have endured”.

Speaking extensively to The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, Capewell revealed that a 2013 video of him, which had been widely circulated in recent days, was a result of a photo shoot taking an unexpected turn.

Capewell, who at the time was 20 years old and playing for the Ipswich Jets, was taking part in a photo-shoot for a sports clothing and underwear company before it turned to nude pics then an adult movie.

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He informed his family and the QRL Integrity Unit at that time. Then last year he notified police and reported it to the NRL integrity unit last when someone tried to sell the images of him in a sexual act with another man.



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Kurt Capewell, porn video, Penrith Panthers


Penrith Panthers star Kurt Capewell has spoken out about a recently resurfaced X-rated video of him.

The 27-year-old was forced to confront the old demons after the video began to be shared around social media with the star notifying police and the NRL’s integrity unit after images from the video were attempted to be sold last year.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Capewell spoke about his “fears” surrounding the video seeing the light of day.

The footage, which comes from 2013 after a then 20-year-old Capewell signed up for a photo shoot, shows the Panthers forward being filmed engaging in a sexual act with a man.

Capewell has come forward to warn others of the dangers of being “young and naive” and chasing cash as he was doing at the time.

As the footage drags on, Capewell is offered more and more money as the acts get all the more explicit.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

“My message to young people is to be really careful when being offered money for photo shoots,” Capewell said to The Daily Telegraph. “It’s not the person I am today.

“I’ve had to learn the hard way. I hope others don’t have to go through what I have endured.”

Capewell was a member of the Ipswich Jets at the time and it wasn’t until earlier this year when he approached police.

Images from the photo shoot, which turned into a pornographic video, were offered for sale, but the images were never purchased. Investigations closed without any action being taken, according to The Daily Telegraph.

After approaching The Daily Telegraph to speak out about the incident from early in his life, Capewell notified his Panthers teammates in a lengthy text message, where he hoped they’d have his back moving forward.

“Bit hard to put the full story into words but I was broke and doing some modelling, then I got talked into doing a porno. Unknown to me but it turned out they put a bloke on the other side of the wall,” Capewell wrote.

“Now it’s resurfacing in group chats and I wanted to let you all know so you could hear it from me and so you all know the full story.

“I’m terribly embarrassed and ashamed even though it happened when I was so young.

Capewell’s NRL career began when he made his debut with the Cronulla Sharks in 2016 before he joined the Panthers in 2020.

He played in all three State of Origin games this season in the victorious Queensland Maroons side.



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State of Origin 2020: QLD Maroons, Wayne Bennett, Game 3, Team lists, Valentine Holmes, Kurt Capewell, Phillip Sami


There are plenty of excuses if Wayne Bennett wants to go looking for them after Queensland’s disappointing 24-point loss to New South Wales on Wednesday.

Take the head knock that ruled five-eighth Cameron Munster out of the game only minutes in or the absence of key players in AJ Brimson and Christian Welch.

The issues went deeper though, partially with Bennett’s own bench rotation to blame.

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State of Origin 2020: Queensland Maroons v NSW Blues, Kurt Capewell, Stephen Crichton injuries, team news, Phillip Sami,


Blues centre Stephen Crichton has been ruled out of contention for State of Origin II after going down with a hamstring injury at NSW training.

Crichton was on standby after being listed in the reserves, but The Daily Telegraph reported he will be replaced by Zac Lomax as a precautionary measure due to the hamstring injury.

Dragons skipper Cameron McInnes is understood to be the other player on standby for Game II, with Luke Keary and Reagan Campbell-Gillard set to be cut 24 hours before kick-off.

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Meanwhile Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans says he’s hopeful Kurt Capewell can shake off a groin injury and play for the Maroons in Wednesday night’s Origin game.



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State of Origin 2020: NSW Blues vs QLD Maroons, Game 2 teams, Kurt Capewell, Valentine Holmes, Cody Walker


Queensland’s star rookie Kurt Capewell is adamant he will play Game II in Sydney next week despite a groin injury.

The 27-year-old picked up the injury at training last week but it wasn’t enough to stop him from making his Origin debut in the Maroons’ shock 18-14 win over the Blues.

Capewell was originally named in the reserves but was a late addition in the centres replacing Brenko Lee who couldn’t overcome a calf injury, also picked up at training. Although, even if Lee were to play it was expected Capewell would be promoted into the side at the expense of Phillip Sami.

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The Panthers utility was an absolute superstar for the Maroons with a number of tough carries and setting up Qld’s first try.



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Queensland Maroons hero Kurt Capewell says state spirit ‘bred into you’ after starring on debut in win over NSW Blues


“You grow up supporting Queensland and you just love it. You live and breathe it. I remember as a kid looking forward to every Wednesday when Origin is on. Your blood boils and it is bred into you.

“Like the rest of us, we all have the belief we can beat any team that is put in front of us. As long as we do what we do well, we can only control us and we can only beat us. Wayne has instilled that confidence in us and he’s got us playing well.”

Kurt Capewell starred on his State of Origin debut.Credit:Getty

It is unlikely Capewell, who is expected to be fit for game two, would have even been in the Queensland side if they had a full complement of players, with Kalyn Ponga, Michael Morgan, David Fifita and Moses Mbye all ruled out of the series through injury. Valentine Holmes missed the opening game through suspension.

Capewell’s heroics came only 10 days after Penrith were beaten by Melbourne in the NRL grand final, which he said had prompted Queensland and Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster to “rub it in” during Origin camp.

Capewell missed the majority of the NRL season with a knee injury and was in doubt for the Adelaide match after hurting his groin in training.

“I came out after half-time and it was tight,” Capewell said. “Really tight.

I remember as a kid looking forward to every Wednesday when Origin is on. Your blood boils and it is bred into you.

Kurt Capewell

“Towards the end of the game it was getting a bit hard. I didn’t want to go off because I knew we didn’t have any centres on the bench.

“But it got to the stage there where they scored that last try where I couldn’t move or make up the ground on my centre. I felt it was best for the team to get off the field and get someone else out there who could run.”

Bennett is expected to rush Holmes back into his side at fullback for the potentially series-deciding clash at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.

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It will be the Cowboys ace’s first Origin match since his return from the NFL. He was one of the world’s best wingers before leaving for the US, but has since made his home at fullback.

Titans flyer Brimson was a standout for Queensland in his first Origin game, but was told upon his return to the sunshine state he would miss games in Sydney and Brisbane with a foot problem.

“We all came in here confident and we all had a job to do,” Brimson said after the Adelaide win. “The last thing we wanted to do was to let Queensland down. We all came in very confident, we knew it would be a hard task which it was.”

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State of Origin 2020: Queensland Maroons v NSW Blues, Wayne Bennett, Brenko Lee, Kurt Capewell


It’s official the historic State of Origin series opener at the Adelaide oval is a sellout as the Maroons deal with some untimely injury scares to two backline stars.

“A sold-out COVID-19 capacity crowd of 26,500 The Adelaide Oval has been confirmed for State of Origin I,” David Riccio tweeted.

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