|Lewis playing for Australia in 2009|
11 August 1983 |
|Height||188 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||105 kg (16 st 7 lb)|
|Position||Lock, Second-row, Wing, Centre, Five-eighth, Halfback|
|2004–14||New South Wales||17||1||0||0||4|
|2012||NRL All Stars||1||1||0||0||4|
Luke Lewis (born 11 August 1983) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who currently plays for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the National Rugby League. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative utility player, he previously played for the Penrith Panthers between 2001 and 2012, winning the 2003 NRL Premiership with them. A versatile player, Lewis has played (but not necessarily started) in every position in first grade football. Lewis has also played representative football at wing, centre, lock and second row, and won first grade Man of the Match awards at five-eighth and halfback.
Lewis was educated at Patrician Brothers' College Blacktown, and spent his junior career with Blacktown City Junior Rugby League Football Club in the Penrith district. In early 2011, Lewis married partner, Sonia Di Loreto.
In Round 24 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 for the Penrith Panthers in the 2001 NRL season.
In Round 3 against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Lewis scored his first NRL career try in the Panthers 18-10 loss at Remondis Stadium. Lewis finished the 2002 NRL season with him playing in 23 matches and scoring 17 tries including 2 hatricks for the Panthers.
In the 2003 NRL grand final, Lewis played on the wing in the Panthers 18–6 win over the Sydney Roosters. Lewis played in 25 matches and scored 18 tries for the Panthers in the 2003 NRL season. Lewis was selected for the Kangaroos 2003 Tour squad, but did not play.
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. 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. 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 selected to play.
Lewis played for City at centre in the 12-10 loss in Dubbo. In Round 11 against the Parramatta Eels, Lewis played his 100th NRL match in the Panthers 30-20 win at Penrith Stadium. Lewis finished the 2006 NRL season with him playing in 16 matches and scoring 4 tries the Panthers.
In May 2008, Lewis almost joined the South Sydney Rabbitohs on 4-year deal but reneged on an unofficial deal. City at second-row in the 22-all draw against Country at WIN Stadium. Lewis finished the 2008 NRL season with him playing in 17 matches and scoring 5 tries for the Panthers.
Lewis was picked as 18th man for the Australian side to play in the 2009 ANZAC test, but did not play. In May 2009, Lewis was named as 18th man for the squad to represent New South Wales in the opening State of Origin match on 3 June 2009, in Melbourne. Lewis was subsequently called into the team following the suspension of Glenn Stewart, his first appearance in Origin since 2004. Lewis played 15 matches and scored 5 tries for the Panthers in the 2009 NRL season. At the end of the season, Lewis travelled to Europe with Australia for the 2009 Four Nations tournament, getting selected to play and making his debut against England off the interchange bench in the 26-16 win at JJB Stadium. Lewis played in 3 matches and scored a try for the Kangaroos including playing at second-row in the 46-16 Four Nations Final win against England.
For the 2010 ANZAC Test, Lewis was selected to play for Australia at second-row in the 12-8 victory against New Zealand at AAMI Park. 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. In 2010, 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. Lewis played 21 matches and scored 5 tries for the Panthers in the 2010 NRL season.
Lewis was selected for the Australia's 2010 Four Nations tournament team, scoring two tries in a matter of minutes against England, and unselfishly giving up a hat-trick, setting up Willie Tonga. Lewis scored his first ever test try in this match, and also went on to win the Man of the Match award, despite succumbing to an injury in the three-quarter mark of the match in the Kangaroos 34-14 win at AAMI Park. Lewis played at second-row in the Kangaroos 16-12 Four Nations Final loss to New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium.
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. 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.
On 6 February 2012, Lewis was chosen to play for the NRL All Stars team off the interchange bench in the 28-12 win over the Indigenous All Stars at Cbus Super Stadium. In Round 5 against the club Lewis signed with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Lewis played his 200th NRL match in the Panthers 15-14 loss at Penrith Stadium. 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. 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. However, 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. 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, 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. 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 – 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.
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 cub over previous seasons. In Round 1 of the 2013 NRL season, Lewis made his club debut for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks against the Gold Coast Titans at second-row in the Sharks 12-10 win at Remondis Stadium. In Round 7 against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Lewis scored his first try club try for the Sharks in the 24-8 loss at Central Coast Stadium. 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. 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 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks with him playing in 20 matches and scored 4 tries in the 2013 NRL season. At the end of the year Lewis was selected for the Australian squad to travel to Europe for the 2013 World Cup tournament. In Australia’s match against Fiji, Lewis suffered a dislocated shoulder after crashing into an advertising sign while scoring a try in Australia's 34-2 win at Langtree Park.
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 in the Sharks 42-24 loss at Parramatta Stadium. 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. 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. Lewis played off the interchange bench in Game 3 in the 32-8 loss at Suncorp Stadium. In Round 21 against the Parramatta Eels, Lewis suffered a season ending leg injury in the Sharks 32-12 loss at Remondis Stadium. Lewis finished the 2014 NRL season with him playing in 8 matches and scoring a try for the Sharks.
- Luke Lewis rugbyleagueproject.org
- Ritchie, Dean (4 July 2008). "Eels have inside knowledge on Penrith". The Herald Sun (News Limited). Retrieved 26 September 2010.
- 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.