Newcastle Knights: Coach Adam O’Brien gives Kalyn Ponga contract update

Newcastle coach Adam O’Brien says he is confident Kalyn Ponga will commit his future to the Knights, but they are not there just yet.

Speculation over the future of Ponga continues to rumble on as he will be off-contract for 2023. The fullback does have an option to extend it but as things stand he has yet to put pen-to-paper.

Rumours reached fever pitch last weekend after he is alleged to have met with Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett. The NRL’s 17th club want a marquee signing for when they enter the comp in 2023. Ponga is an option for them and there is talk of a bumper contract being put on the table.

Ponga happy with Knights

Even so, Ponga is known to be happy at Newcastle. And if he wants to win a premiership many would argue he has a better chance with the Knights.

O’Brien was quizzed about the Ponga situation ahead of Thursday evening’s clash against Manly. The Knights coach has no issue with the way the situation is being played out.

He is more concerned with how the player trains and prepares for games. There are no complaints on that front and Ponga seems more committed than ever.

“We are not there yet, we will go through a process,” O’Brien told the club’s website. “I’m really comfortable with the process and want him to make an educated decision on his future with all the facts on the table.

“I am okay with how it has transpired. I haven’t seen it affect his preparation.”

When asked if he thinks Ponga will stay, O’Brien could not say for certain, but sounded confident.

“Would love to stand here and say he is staying and will be a part of the future,” he added. “I’m still confident that can happen. The honest truth is we are not there yet.

“It would concern me if I felt his preparation and training standards had dropped but they haven’t. If anything they are getting stronger and stronger.”

Newcastle in safe hands

Heading in to round five the Knights sit 2-2 and O’Brien is focusing on footy. He is happy to leave the business side to others and says it is in safe hands.

“I am the footy coach and I focus on getting them ready for the 80 minutes,” O’Brien said. “There is enough good people around him and we have good people at the club handling these things so I’ll stay out of it.”

About Michael Holland 81 Articles
Love Rugby League writer.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.