Kalyn Ponga has addressed his now infamous comments from last season, after he was quoted as saying that playing for the All Blacks would be the “pinnacle” of his playing career.
Ponga confirmed to the Former Origin Greats website his words were taken out of context, and says he’s quite pleased with how is rugby league career is tracking.
“The question I was asked that day (by TVNZ) was, that if I was to play rugby, would I want to play for the All Blacks, and I just answered the question by saying ‘yes, who wouldn’t?’” Ponga told fogs.com.au.
“But if you watched the whole interview, it was about my family and our New Zealand heritage, so it was taken out of context a little bit.
“The reality is I’m very happy in rugby league.”
The 20-year-old had a breakout year in 2018 and finished second in the Dally M Medal count, as he became not only the best young player in the game, but one of the most talented men in the competition.
Ponga is intent on finding himself in the Maroons’ side on a permanent basis, and is happy to fill whatever position is needed by Queensland coach Kevin Walters at any given time.
“The fullback spot would be great this year, especially with Billy Slater retiring, but honestly I will play anywhere. I just want to wear that Maroon jumper again,” Ponga said.
The young Knight also touched on his impending move from fullback to five-eighth for Newcastle this season, and says he’ll draw on his Maroons debut for inspiration.
“You don’t really know if you can do something until you do it,” Ponga added.
“I didn’t think I could handle playing the minutes I did in Origin and I managed to do it, so hopefully I can surprise myself again.”