Ponga to return this weekend for 100th NRL game

NRL-Week 2 Trial . NRL-Week 2 Trial Knights v Eels at Industree Group Stadium, Gosford. Picture: NRL Photos/Gregg Porteous

Kalyn Ponga will make his long awaited return to the NRL field this weekend, leading the Newcastle Knights out against his old team the North Queensland Cowboys in Townville.

He’ll return at his five-eighth position for his 100th National Rugby League match, ironically back to where in all started in Townsville, where he debuted for the Cowboys against the Broncos in the 2nd week of the finals in 2016.

The 25-year-old returned from Canada at the start of April after heading over to undertake tests with technology that isn’t available in Australia to assess his brain after multiple concussions.

Jacob Saifiti will also return this weekend from suspension on the bench alongside Tyson Gamble who was playing in place of Kalyn Ponga while he was unavailable. Kurt Mann is named to start at Lock.

The Anzac Round match kicks off at 7:35pm on Saturday at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

The Knights 2023 Anzac Round jersey provides an historical acknowledgement of the 80th anniversary of the shelling of the Port of Newcastle, including images from when Newcastle was the most fortified place in Australia from 1941-43.

The Club said coal and steel production in the Hunter region was critical to the war effort and production of materials used by Australian forces in World War II. The Club said the local relevance of the design respectfully recognises the sacrifices and contributions of our combined Forces and importantly, the Hunter community, during the Second World War.