Newcastle Knights star Kalyn Ponga is set to re-sign with the the club on a massive $1.1m-a-season deal, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
It will make the 22-year old one of the NRL’s top five highest paid players.
The length of the the contract is reportedly still being finalised, but it could see Ponga extend his stay at Newcastle until at least the end of 2025.
Originally contracted until 2021 with a player option for 2022, Ponga has triggered that clause and upgraded and extended his deal.
It puts his All-Blacks dream on hold for the moment, with an official announcement from the Knights expected potentially as early as the end of the week.
Ponga considered leaving rugby league to play for New Zealand in the 2023 World Cup in France, but it is understood that the fullback’s desire to win a premiership with the Knights is now a greater priority.
Knights chief executive Phil Gardner told the Sydney Morning Herald in February that the club was committed to keeping Ponga in Newcastle long-term.
“We’ve told the Ponga family we’d like KP to extend his time with us,” Gardner said.
“We’ve offered him an upgraded contract for 2020-21 on the basis of an extension. The family know how much we want to keep him at Newcastle and they will come back to us with their view.”