WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Kalyn Ponga of the Cowboys makes a break during the round seven NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the North Queensland Cowboys at WIN Stadium on April 15, 2017 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

Newcastle Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga has determined his representative future in rugby league.

Despite being heavily pursued by New Zealand, Ponga chose to allow himself to be eligible for Australia and Queensland.

The Newcastle prodigy has been named in a Queensland emerging squad, a group of eleven players who will ultimately be nurtured into possible future origin representatives.

The program has proved to be a success since it’s establishment in 2001 by Wayne Bennett. Eight players involved in this year’s program made their Origin debuts.

With Queensland’s benchmark spine unsettled, following Thurston and Cronk’s origin retirement, the Maroons are on the lookout for a new batch of superstars who can fill the void.

And haven’t they got some options? Ash Taylor, Kalyn Ponga and Corey Norman are all possible young halves who can strap on the boots for Queensland in the near future.

Currently leading the race are Michael Morgan, Cameron Munster and Anthony Milford, while Darius Boyd will almost certainly replace Bill Slater out the back after his retirement.

“With the smaller numbers, it lets the Origin team staff spend more time with the individuals and the players can also spend more time with each other,” Walters told Fox Sports.

Corey Norman is a player who has been on our horizon for some years and we feel the time is right to bring him in.

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“He gained a lot of maturity with his football this past season.

“I have spoken to Kalyn and he has indicated that he wants to be part of the Queensland pathways which is very exciting for Kalyn and very exciting for the Queensland Rugby League.

“He is a player of the future so it is good news for Maroons fans that he has confirmed his allegiance with us.”


  1. He’s the future Qld fullback. I believe he has more to offer than Holmes at fullback, especially with a pass. Although Munster might be able to get the 1, but some might see him as a utility for Origin or 6. As a NSW fan, him pledging to Qld gives me nightmares, but good to know he’ll be in the Green and Gold!!!

  2. Queensland Team for the future

    1. Kalyn Ponga (19)
    2. Valentine Holmes (22)
    3. Cameron Munster (23)
    4. Will Chambers (29)
    5. Dane Gagai (26)
    6. Anthony Milford (23)
    7. Ash Taylor (22)
    8. Dylan Napa (25)
    9. Jake Friend (27)
    10. Jarrod Wallace (26)
    11. Felise Kaufusi (25)
    12. Matt Gillett (29)
    13. Josh McQuire (27)

    14. Michael Morgan (25)
    15. Korbin Sims (25)
    16. Josh Pappali (25)
    17. Coen Hess (21)

    18. Ethan Lowe (26)
    19. Moses Mbye (24)
    20. Tautau Moga (24)

    • Moga, Sims and mmmbop need to lift a level or 2 to get to SOO level.
      Milford, Taylor and Ponga have big shoes to fill.
      I see some blockbuster SOO series coming up.

      • Yer but that’s why team of the future you could also throw in names like like Hipgrave, Ofahengaue, Su’a, Arrow, Perrett as future forwards depending on there forms next season

      • Korbin Sims isn’t that far off being selected for SOO. I was kind of surprised with Glasby getting selected over him. With Matt Scott, Sam Thaiday and Gavin Cooper not having to long left wouldn’t be surprised to see some more new faces coming in

  3. I think everyone should pump the brakes on Ponga. He’s played 2 first grade games and didn’t really stand out

    • lol you obviously haven’t watched league in a while cause he’s played 9. 2 which he was 18 and did pretty good, the other 7 the season just past. He’s still eligible for 20s next year too.

  4. Just saw your post on a previous article but comments were closed.

    Thank you both. And a very very merry (gloves-off) Xmas to you too, MW47 & SSTID.

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