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Scott Bailey

Cogger ready to emulate O'Sullivan, reignite NRL career

Penrith recruit Jack Cogger is hoping to make the most of a second opportunity in the NRL. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Penrith utility Jack Cogger will use Sean O'Sullivan's Panthers stint last season as inspiration to reignite his own career, adamant he has unfinished business in the NRL.

A teenage debutant with Newcastle, Cogger left the NRL for the English Super League at age 23 when he was discarded by Canterbury at the end of 2020.

He has spent his past two years as a controlling half at Huddersfield, guiding the club to the World Club Challenge last season.

"I always in the back of my head knew I wanted to come back," Cogger said ahead of Friday's round-one clash with Brisbane.

"I'd like to think I'm a better player now.

"I had a role at Huddersfield to play, and they gave me the opportunity to play a decent amount of games and be that dominant player.

"I am a lot better, more mature. And I would like to think when the opportunity comes up I will be able to do that for the Panthers."

Cogger is well aware he won't be afforded the same responsibilities at the Panthers as he was the Giants for most of his one-year contract.

With Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai the game's dominant halves, he is vying for a position on the bench as coach Ivan Cleary contemplates its make up.

Spencer Leniu and Scott Sorensen are expected to take up two spots next week, while Zac Hosking could be its third member if Cleary opts for an extra backrower.

Tyrone Peachey, who is in doubt for Friday night with a hamstring injury, Jaeman Salmon, Soni Luke and Cogger are all options as back-up dummy-halves and utilities, with either one or two spots available for them.

Regardless, Cogger knows he will be most important to Penrith during the State of Origin period and any other time Luai or Nathan Clearly are missing.

It was a role O'Sullivan filled last season as a crucial part of Penrith's premiership, and ultimately ended up in him being rewarded with a three-year contract at the Dolphins.

"Look what Sean was able to do last year when he stepped up," Cogger said as part of his reasoning to signing with Penrith.

"He took the most of his opportunity and has gone up to the Dolphins and secured his future for a while.

"He ended up playing 12 games last year, and I recall Ivan saying during that period the team was able to win a few games, which was different to the year before.

"It's not only just play, but there is a role there to come in and expect to do good things and win."

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