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).
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.