PLAYERS | Petero Civoniceva


Panther 472

74 matches [2008-2011]

12 points [3 tries]


Fijian born front row forward who had debuted at the Brisbane Broncos in 1998 and had played 215 matches up until 2007 when salary cap pressures meant that he would not be re-signed for the 2008 season.

The Panthers took the opportunity and signed him initially for two seasons. He was appointed club captain for the 2008 season, with his first match being against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium. As well as providing mature leadership on the field, he also provided much needed experience in the Panthers forward pack.

At the time of his arrival, Civoniceva was an incumbent of both the Queensland and Australian teams, and his form for the Panthers ensured that these selections continued – in 2008, he was the Panthers 15th Australian Test representative and the 9th player to represent Queensland. He played 21 matches for the Panthers in 2008, with the 3 matches he missed being due to representative commitments. Later in the season, he would be awarded the Dally M front rower of the year award, as well as the RLPA player of the year award.

However, he would be restricted to just 14 appearances in 2009, with a foot injury cutting short his season in mid-June. But he would later extend his stay at Penrith until the end of the 2012 season.

He made 19 appearances for the Panthers in 2010, with his time limited once again due to representative commitments as well as a two match suspension late in the premiership season (for a high tackle in which he became the first and only NRL player to be sent off for that season), although he returned for their semi final against the Roosters.

2011 would be his final season at the Panthers, being successfully granted a release from the last year of his contract to return to Brisbane. His final match was in the last premiership round of the 2011 season – all 74 appearances in his four seasons at Penrith were as captain.

Civoniceva played one final season at the Broncos, retiring at the end of the 2012 season, with 309 first grade appearances, 33 appearances for Queensland and 45 Tests for Australia. He would play one final season for Redcliffe in the Queensland Cup in 2013, and would represent his native Fiji in the 2013 World Cup.

Post retirement, he has held ambassadorial roles within the game, and in 2018 he was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame.


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