Representative prop Tim Grant says he is determined to take on a leadership role at Penrith as the club seeks to lift itself out of the NRL wilderness.

Grant was one of the revelations of a tough Panthers season in 2012 in which the club finished second last and the NSW frontrower said the experience gained from his debut in the State of Origin cauldron has steeled him for the job at hand.

Captain Kevin Kingston leads a largely unheralded and unknown Panthers side into their season opener against 2012 finalists Canberra on Sunday.

Grant says there are no doubts as to who is the boss at the foot of the mountains but he is determined to lead from the front.

"It's not something I have really been asked to take on but I see it as a part of my job," Grant told AAP.

"I have been here seven years now and it would probably be ... what would you say ... weak of me not to take on a leadership role.

"It's up to me to put in and do a job to help Kevvy Kingston who has been a great captain. And to be honest Kevvy runs the show and he is doing a great job."

The 25-year-old Grant impressed in his two Origin appearances last season and says the experience has made him mentally tougher.

"To get that experience has been great for my confidence," he said.

"I don't think I am a different player physically but I am mentally.

"Mentally I think I can compete at that level and that has given me confidence and that is what I want to bring to the Panthers."

A Penrith side that has recruited more players than any other face a litmus test against surprise 2012 finalists Canberra and their massive forward pack.

"They are a good team with a great pack of forwards and a flairy (sic) back line," Grant said.

"Their run to the final last year was phenomenal. We are going to have our work cut out for us.

"But we feel pretty comfortable where we are at and this is an exciting new beginning for us."