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"I want to be here for a long time... 300 games"

Kalyn Ponga believes 50 NRL games is just the tip of the iceberg.

The nib Newcastle Knights fullback has big plans and plenty left to achieve in the game.

Speaking ahead of the Knights’ season opener against the Warriors at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday, which doubles as his 50th game in first grade, Ponga hopes this milestone will be the first of many.

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“I want to be here for a long time and keep playing. 300 games – as many as I can,” Ponga told reporters.

All for the Knights?

“Yeah, I’m happy here,” he said.

“I don’t know too much. I know there’s been a lot of crazy speculation, and I appreciate everyone wanting to know what I’m doing, but it’s the same thing as always and that’s the message I want to always show to my fans and the club: I just want to focus on right now.

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“That’s the sort of person that I am, and I always have been, and I always will be, so I’m just excited for this weekend.”

Ponga, who has played 40 games for the Knights in the past two years after nine for the Cowboys in 2016-17, said he was unaware of the 50-game milestone until his father, Andre, told him last week.

“It’s pretty big, looking back. Obviously, I’ve played a lot of my footy here and a little bit at the Cows and 50 has flown by, to be honest,” he said.

“I didn’t think I was at that number yet, but each one I get excited for. For some people it’s not many and for some people it’s a lot, but I think it’s pretty big.

“I’d like more wins, and hopefully my next 50 has got a few more in there, but I’m definitely happy. From my first to now, I’ve come a long way and I’ve enjoyed every one.”

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