Ponga To Miss World Cup

Kalyn Ponga has ruled himself out of this year’s Rugby League World Cup, opting instead to focus on the Knights.

The Newcastle co-captain was sidelined for the final six rounds of the NRL after copping three concussions in just six weeks and seeking specialist medical advice.

Today Ponga informed Kangaroos Coach Mal Meninga of his choice to withdraw from potential selection for the Australian squad bound for England next month.

The fullback will instead take a rest and prepare for a big 2023 preseason with the Knights following a string of dismal results which saw the team land third last on the ladder at the conclusion of the regular season.

During his stint on the sideline, Ponga found himself at the center of an NRL investigation and underwent a drug test after footage emerged of him being escorted out of a toilet cubicle, along with teammate Kurt Mann by security at the Hotel Delaney on Darby Street.

Both players were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

It was not the year the club or Ponga would have wanted, and for that reason he says he has chosen to focus on the Knights instead of representing his country.

“I understand the potential opportunities that may be missed by this decision, however due to the year we have endured, I really want to commit on the upcoming preseason,” Ponga said.

“My focus will sit firmly with nailing preseason from the start, and I believe this decision is in the best interest for myself and the Knights.”