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Kalyn Ponga confirms All Blacks dream is not his focus

09 Sep 21, 6:23PM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Kalyn Ponga is a crucial part of the NRL as one of its stars who draws in the crowds and viewership ratings; however, there has been a grave concern in recent years that one of professional Rugby League’s most influential athletes could be lost to the game as he pursues an All Black dream.

Well, the game can take a collective sigh of relief as Ponga recently spoke to Fatima Kdouh from the Daily Telegraph and confirmed that he does not only want to stay in the NRL for the foreseeable future but at Newcastle to boot, news that will have those in the Hunter excited about things to come.

“I know that I am very committed to Newcastle and winning a comp here,” said Ponga.

“I get asked about the All Blacks a lot, it’s not something on my radar or want to achieve right now.

“I’m going to give my all to Newcastle and winning a title.”

In 2021, Ponga has once again proven essential in the Newcastle Knights lineup, scoring eight tries, assisting 12, averaging 148 run metres per game and making 42 tackles for an efficiency rate of 60.9%.

While the 23-year-old has put minds at ease in terms of his future, for now, Ponga’s contract is very much open for him making a code switch a couple of seasons down the track, with his current deal ending after 2022 with a player option for 2023 and one for 2024.

Ponga loves his Rugby League, it’s clear to see by how he plays and the effort he puts in every week, but come late 2022 as we edge closer to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, it would not be a surprise if the “Rugby bug” came back to bite the Queensland State of Origin representative and we ended up hearing more about an interest in a code switch then.

Although as things stand the NRL has been reassured that one of its top talents is committed to the game for at least the coming years, and the Newcastle Knights have been reassured that Kalyn Ponga confirms All Blacks dream is not his focus is happy where he is and that they needn’t worry about him potentially seeking a release before the end of his contract with the club.

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