Matt Burton insists his main concern is trying to learn how to play centre, after successfully avoiding the ongoing public debate about his future in recent months.

The most talked about 21-year-old in rugby league has done his best to not read or hear any story about where he should spend the next seven months.

Likewise, he has managed to steer clear of the ongoing social media debate about any early release, after signing a three-year deal with Canterbury from 2022.

As far as Burton is concerned, it can’t be his primary focus.

“I don’t really read into it much, I just try and focus on my job and do what’s best for the team,” Burton said.

“I have social media but I don’t really read into it or anything, I just try and focus on my job and keep level-headed.”

Burton is realistically between a rock and a hard place.

The club that developed him is the Panthers, it’s where his friends are and his current employers.

Canterbury are his future and he has to keep them happy too.

But while the No.6 jersey awaits at Belmore, something bigger could now await at Penrith given the way they’ve played for the past 12 months.

And there is every chance Burton could now play a big part in it, after two games in the first four rounds showing he is clearly Penrith’s first choice back in the halves and backs.

“The culture here’s unbelievable and just the teammates and all that, we’re so close and such a good bond with each other,” Burton said.

“I definitely (didn’t expect game time) but it opened up and I’m just happy to be in the team doing my job.

“It’s just a good experience for me.

“Whether I was in the team or not I just wanted to be giving it 100 per cent for the boys and putting my best foot forward every week.”

More immediately, he is set to own the centre jersey for at least the next three weeks until Dylan Edwards returns at fullback from a broken hand.

The makeshift centre impressed there against Manly on Thursday night, looking dangerous when given space and putting Brian To’o over for one try.

“This preseason is probably the most I’ve learned in that position,” Burton said.

“There was probably six-to-eight weeks where I just got training there a few times and it really helped me out and I’m starting to find my feet there.

“It’s good (being back to play there for a few weeks).

“It gives me a lot of confidence and I can’t wait for the next few weeks and hopefully I get a crack.”

Burton doing best to avoid public debate
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