NRL Rd 15 - Knights v Cowboys
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 23: Kalyn Ponga of the Newcastle Knights runs the ball during the round 15 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the North Queensland Cowboys at McDonald Jones Stadium on August 23, 2020 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Even with his best mate off to the Sydney Roosters for 2022 Kalyn Ponga only has one goal on his mind, and that's to bring an NRL premiership back to Newcastle.

Watson's shock move back to the Eastern Suburbs saw the demise of one of the greatest bromances in NRL history. Nevertheless the 23-year-old can only see himself wearing the red and blue for the foreseeable future, telling The Daily Telegraph he only has one goal.

“I know that I am very committed to Newcastle and winning a comp here,” Ponga said.

With Ponga's contract expiring at the end of the 2022 season, questions have been raised about his future. It's a well-known fact that the 23-year-old has shown an interest in a Rugby Union return, however, he has assured Novocastrians that wearing the prestigious All Black jersey is not his main priority.

“I get asked about the All Blacks a lot, it’s not something on my radar or want to achieve right now," Ponga said.

“I’m going to give my all to Newcastle and winning a title.”

With not only history but odds stacked against the Knights winning the Provan-Summons trophy this season the Knights will be looking at building a winning squad for the next few seasons to come.

The club has been able to retain many of their key players which include, Starford To'a (2023), coach Adam O'Brien (2024), Bradman Best (2024), Mitchell Pearce (2022), Brodie Jones (2023), Daniel Saifiti (2026), Jacob Saifiti (2024), Hymel Hunt (2023), Kurt Mann (2023), Lachlan Fitzgibbon (2023), Jayden Brailey (2025).

GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 29: Jacob Saifiti of the Knights runs the ball in the warm up during the NRL trial match between the Sydney Roosters and the Newcastle Knights at Central Coast Stadium on February 29, 2020 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Along with an impressive retention list the Knights have also manage to secure key signings from additional clubs with the likes of Dane Gagai (2022-24), Jake Clifford (2023), Sauaso Sue (2022), Bailey Hodgson (2023), Brayden Musgrove (2022) and Adam Clune (2022-23).

With a wealth of depth within their roster along with a yearning to break Newcastle's 20-year drought, the Knights will be a force to be reckoned with for the next few seasons. However, the priority for now is to overcome an inconsistent Eels side this Sunday in an elimination final, which will be played in Rockhampton.