It was a tough road but Kalyn Ponga has finally put pen to paper with the Newcastle Knights and re-signed on a long-term deal.
With so much speculation and conjecture regarding his future, the links to the Dolphins for 2023 persisted.
Ponga has turned down that offer and instead re-signed with the Knights, which is a boost for them moving forward.
Ponga’s new deal runs for five years until the end of the 2027 season.
Ponga joined the Knights back in 2018 from the North Queensland Cowboys as a promising 19-year-old talent.
The raw ability was there but it has only been in the last couple of seasons that Ponga’s game has truly shone.
Although his detractors believe that he still has plenty to work on, Ponga is pleased to stay on with the Knights long-term.
“I would like to thank everyone who has helped throughout this process,” Ponga said.
“I’m grateful for the huge amount of time and hard work it has taken to get this new five-year deal completed, especially my family and key people from the club.”
Ponga also lauded his teammates for their patience and respect towards him during this saga.
“My teammates have been awesome, they have shown me every respect and patience, without any pressure throughout the negotiations,” Ponga continued.
“We are a very connected group and I am confident there are great things ahead for us.”
The beauty of the new deal from a Knights perspective is that it starts from 2023 and voids any existing contracts or clauses that may have previously been in place.
For Ponga, it was a decision made easier by being able to stay in Newcastle, a city and a team he loves.
“I would like to thank all of those who have given me the respect of allowing me the space and time I needed to come to this decision – I am excited to have it done and now I can get on with contributing to the club and city that I love,” Ponga added.