Impressed by the facilities that he saw, the reports had it as a matter of time for Kalyn Ponga to sign with the Newcastle Knights.
The move is now official, as the club confirm the signing of the talented utility back on a four-year deal starting in 2018.
Still only 18, he was highly sought after by many clubs but it was ultimately the Knights who won the race to sign him, after witnessing his ability in just two games for the North Queensland Cowboys.
Playing mostly in the Holden Cup throughout 2016, Ponga was named in the Holden Cup Team of the Year at fullback and ties in with the Knights plans to have a young, youthful roster moving forward.
“There is no doubt Kalyn is a very talented and exciting young player and his signing is definitely a coup for the Club,” coach Nathan Brown said.
“We look forward to further developing his talent and welcoming his family to Newcastle.”
The club are excited to have such a talented prospect at the club from 2018.
“To secure Kalyn from 2018 is really pleasing for everyone at the Club,” CEO Matt Gidley said.
“Kalyn made this decision with his family and he’s excited to be a part of the future of our Club.”
Although the deal is for 2018 only, the Knights are open to Ponga joining the club a year early if the Cowboys allow it.
“As it stands, we are excited about Kalyn joining us in 2018,” Gidley added.
“Should the Cowboys decide to release Kalyn before the conclusion of his contract, we would certainly welcome him to the Club at an earlier date.”