PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 19: Nathan Cleary of the Panthers (R) celebrates with Mitchell Kenny (L) after scoring a try during the round 18 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Panthers Stadium on July 19, 2019 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The Penrith Panthers have locked in Mitch Kenny on a one-year contract extension, it was announced on Thursday afternoon.

Penrith's backup hooking option, who has been excellent when taking over from Apisai Koroisau, will stay at the foot of the mountains until at least the end of the 2022 season.

Not only has Kenny taken over from Koroisau with aplomb, but the 23-year-old has also been called onto the bench at various points this season, with either he or Koroisau then playing a middle third role during the stint they are both on the field.

While Kenny is only five years younger than the Penrith starting hooker, he is continue to develop at Penrith and could well be on the radar for other teams by the time his current deal expires, especially given a slight shortage of up and coming hookers around the competition.

"I’m really stoked to be spending another year here at Panthers," Kenny said.

"I think it’s clear this club is the best place for me to keep developing as a person and a footballer.

"I had to consider all my options but ultimately I couldn’t leave a club that is going to help me get the best out of myself."

Kenny has now played 27 first grade games since his 2019 NRL debut, and Penrith are understandably happy to have him locked up for another season.

MITCH KENNY
Unknown
Panthers
2021 SEASON AVG
23.8
All Run Metres
35.1
Tackles Made
0.1
Try Assists

After filling in for Koroisau six times during the first seven weeks, Kenny has played Penrith's last three games from the bench, including 55 minutes against Cronulla, before reduced game time against the Roosters and Eels in their last two matches.

He has again been named in the number 14 jersey for this Sunday's clash with the New Zealand Warriors at Suncorp Stadium.

Panthers General Manager of Rugby League Matt Cameron said Kenny is a player who has always made the most of his opportunities.

"We’re thrilled to have Mitch commit to our club for next year," Cameron said.

"He’s always made the most of his opportunities in first grade and we’re delighted he agrees Panthers is the best place to continue to develop his game.

"This season in particular Mitch has demonstrated his utility value, which is a considerable asset for our NRL squad moving forward."