Kalyn Ponga’s new deal with Knights should end speculation about All Blacks move

Kalyn Ponga’s new five-year deal with Newcastle should end speculation regarding a move to rugby union, the superstar fullback has claimed.

The 24-year-old inked a new extension to remain with the Knights until the end of 2027, putting an end to the speculation regarding a move to The Dolphins.

Ponga’s new deal is reportedly worth $1 million per season, and unlike his previous contract with the Knights, there are no options in his favour in any year.

Speaking on Sportsday NSW, Ponga said he was well within his rights to structure his previous deal with options in his favour, but the long-term extension should end any speculation regarding a potential move to the All Blacks. 

“This five-year deal shows my commitment to not only the Knights, but rugby league,” he said. 

“It shows I want to do good things in rugby league and achieve some goals that I have.

“There’s always been that cloud over what I’m going to be doing because of the options I’ve had in my contract. You can’t fault me for having options in a contract.

“Five years is permanent and it’s exciting for me.”

The fullback will be 29 years old by the time his deal with the Knights ends, and while there is no doubting his talent and background in the 15-man game, it may be too late in his career to make such a monumental switch. 

Ponga is one of the most exciting players in the competition on his day, but his side have struggled to maintain consistent form since he arrived back in 2018. 

Newcastle have even added Andrew Johns to their coaching staff, which proved a major factor in Ponga’s desire to stay in the Hunter region, despite the ongoing poor results on the field in 2022. 

“His detail to the game is crazy,” he said. 

“He’s been awesome for us, and he just speaks very clearly of the detail and where people need to be.

“He’s a great mentor for us spine players to have.”

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