SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 02: Kalyn Ponga of the Knights in action during the round 13 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Newcastle Knights at ANZ Stadium on June 2, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Young Newcastle star Kalyn Ponga will line up at five-eighth next season, after a stellar season at fullback.

Ponga will play in the halves with Mitchell Pearce, in a duo that’s set to be one of the most exciting in the NRL in 2019.

The move has been confirmed to the Newcastle Herald, with the publication understanding the decision was made by Ponga, Pearce and coach Nathan Brown a couple of weeks ago.

With Ponga making the No.1 jersey his own in 2018, it is believed it will be a straight swap between Ponga and current five-eighth Connor Watson, who started four games at fullback for the Roosters last season according to Rugby League Project.

Given the Knights lost fullback Nick Meaney to Canterbury, Watson looms as the likely replacement for Ponga, although the Knights are still looking at bringing in a first-choice No.1.

The Knights are currently in conversations with out of contract hooker Issac Luke, although his arrival at Newcastle seems to be less likely by the day.

Newcastle are prepared to offer Luke a one-year deal, although the No.9 wants a longer deal.

The Newcastle Herald understands if Luke does in fact join the Knights, Luke’s countryman and fellow hooker Danny Levi would ask the club for an immediate release.


  1. Does this mean they could be potentially looking to hijack a move for either Val Holmes or Cam Munster to play Fullback. They would definitely have money to spend and both players want to lock down the Number 1 jersey with a big contract. Or maybe they have someone else lined up for the job. (Bevan French, Jai Feild, Tristan Sailor, Gela-Mosby)

    • Field and Wendell junior are under contract for the next two years. I hear Hayne’s going cheap though. The sharks would be happy if they took Dugan off their hands but I don’t think the knights are that desperate.

  2. What Connor Watson walked out on the Roosters to play in the halves at Newcastle. Now he is getting shafted to fullback. Should of stuck around at the Roosters and get a chance to win a comp, but the old dollar signs got the better of him. Actually could of played half back this week in a grand final side.

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