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Ponga endorses Hoy as No.1 replacement

The best piece of advice Kalyn Ponga can give to his replacement Tex Hoy is something he was told by former Test and Origin star Billy Slater.

“This is how I did it but do it your way.”

Hoy is the man to replace Ponga in the No.1 while he serves a one game suspension for a shoulder charge.

Although the Knights’ Round 3 opponent are yet to be announced, coach Adam O’Brien confirmed last week that when the NRL competition resumes, Hoy will be the man to replace Ponga and make his first-grade debut.



Hoy showed supporters a glimpse of what he’s capable of during the trials and Perth Nines tournament with his speed and natural instincts one of his best assets.

While Ponga and Hoy are close friends, the Queensland Origin livewire said he has made a conscience effort to not heap any pressure on Hoy or overload him with information.

“At training he will say like ‘what do you do out of yardage, what do you do here’,” Ponga said of Hoy.

“But when we go home, he’s not sitting next to me at the dinner table in my ear.

“That’s the good thing about our group, when we’re at home or away from training we don’t talk about it too much. But when we get to training it’s all business.

“He’s his own person and I think the best advice I got from Billy Slater was ‘this is how I did it but do it your way’.

“I guess that’s the same with Tex. I’m not going to say go do it like this. Just do it your way.”

Aside from slotting in at fullback, Hoy could also take the goal-kicking duties.

With the Club’s other noted goal-kicker Mitch Barnett sidelined with injury and sharp-shooter Mason Lino yet to feature in the 17 this season, Hoy has been working on his kicking.

Kurt Mann and Tyronne Roberts-Davis have also been putting in the work with the kicking tee, according to Ponga.

With Hoy, 20, currently living with Ponga and Connor Watson, the trio have a bond beyond the field with Ponga witnessing first-hand the commitment Hoy has shown to earn his opportunity.

“He’s living with us at the moment actually,” Ponga said.

“He’s a good mate of mine, has been for a couple of years. He’s been knocking on the door in pre-season, last pre-season.

“His effort, his want to debut has been there, so it’s exciting.

“I’m excited to sit back and watch him. He’s a pretty confident kid. The boys believe in him.”