Veteran St George Illawarra Dragons forward Aaron Woods believes Kalyn Ponga should have addressed last year's toilet cubicle saga immediately.

The incident, which occurred while Ponga missed the end of a dismal campaign for the Knights with concussion, was finally addressed by the club's star fullback and co-captain earlier this week.

Ponga is preparing for a switch to five-eighth in 2023, but was forced into talking about the incident when he fronted the media for the first time.

While revealing that the only reason Kurt Mann was in the cubicle with him was to help after he fell ill, Ponga admitted he should never have put himself into that position.

“Putting myself in that position. I shouldn't have been out in the first place,” Ponga told reporters.

“I was in the wrong there. “I shouldn't have been out in the first place. I do support the boys, they know that.”

Woods, who played 19 games in 2022 during his first year for the Dragons to take his career tally to 252, is fast becoming one of the most active current players in the media, and speaking on the LiSTNR Footy Talk podcast, said Ponga should never have waited for as long as he did to address the incident.

“He's club captain. You can't hide,” Woods said on the podcast.

“You've got to come out and front-foot it. He should have just spoke about it then.

"He went into the toilets with Kurt Mann. They did whatever they did. Come out and move on. Just front-foot it there straight away. Now it's dragged on, six months, eight months, however long it's been. We're coming into a new season.

“Obviously he's coming off his (calf) injury. Hopefully, he's getting his first trial this week.

“Now we're bloody talking about the toilet again. He's just got to knock it on the head."

Woods said that Ponga simply has to grow up and realise the responsibility that comes with not only being captain of the Knights, but also one of the game's highest earners.

Ponga re-signed with the Knights last year on a long-term deal that will tie him to the club until at least the end of 2027 on a salary worth what is believed to be well over $1 million per year.

”You're not a kid, mate. You've got to grow up. You're the captain of the club and you're the face of it, he's one of the superstars of our game, he's one of the highest earners,” Woods stated.

“You've just got to front-foot those things so we can just knock it on the back (and) we don't need to go on about it for the new year of footy.”

The Knights are coming off a season where they had one of the worst attacks in the game, with the side finishing 14th on the table and Ponga playing just 14 games.

It was the second straight season of Ponga playing 15 games or less, and there is a hope that moving to five-eighth will help him stay on the park for longer.

The return of the saga into the headlines is the last thing Newcastle needed, with a new-look spine featuring Lachlan Miller and Jackson Hastings preparing to attempt to catapult the struggling club back up the ladder in 2023.

The Knights open their 2023 season on Friday, March 3 against the New Zealand Warriors in Wellington.


  1. Woods has a big mouth, always chipping in over stuff outside the club. Self appointed NRL spokesperson. Worry about yourself Woods.

Comments are closed.