You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Depth Chart: Ponga pencilled in but replacements aplenty

The nib Newcastle Knights are blessed with options for 2021.

In the lead-up to the new season, will look over the depth of the squad and break down the positional options at the disposal of the coaching staff.

Today we take a look at the fullback possibilities.

With Kalyn Ponga unlikely to be ready for Round One, it will be a topic top of the mind of Adam O'Brien for the remainder of the pre-season.

Note: These depth charts are the opinion of and have no input from the coaching staff.

Kalyn Ponga

The Queensland custodian is a shoe-in for the No.1 jumper, and would have certainly been wearing it in Rd.1 had he not undergone shoulder surgery in the 2020 off-season.

The two-time Danny Buderus Medal winner has been one of the Knights' best in the past few seasons, and has played all-but a handful games at the back.

It's where he plays his best football, a fact reinforced by a short stint in the halves in 2019.

Tex Hoy

With Ponga likely to be absent in the early rounds, Hoy is believed to be the front-runner to fill his shoes.

Hoy enjoyed a breakout 2020, making his NRL debut and securing a regular place in the 17 towards the end of the season, drawing praise from the likes of Andrew Johns.

A crafty ball-player and lethally fast with ball-in-hand, Hoy is also comfortable at five-eighth or in a roaming lock-role, and even filled in on the wing last year.

However, like his good friend Ponga, Hoy's best footy is played at the back.

Connor Watson

It's now been almost two seasons since Watson last pulled on the No.1 jersey after being relocated to the forwards in late 2019.

Now known more as a hooker or lock, Watson still boasts the creativity, speed, endurance and ball-playing ability to find a home at the back if required.

Whatever happens, Watson's versatility leaves him as a viable option for Adam O'Brien should an injury nightmare strike the backline.

Starford To'a

He may've made a name for himself on the wing, however the Kiwi young gun spent most of his junior days as a custodian.

Powerful and fast, To'a filled Edrick Lee's spot on the left flank last year while he was out of the side with a broken arm and didn't disappoint.

The livewire managed four tries in seven appearances, and would be a sight to see if he was ever unleashed in the No.1 jersey.

Bailey Hodgson

An 18-year-old gun signed from the UK, Hodgson was one of the most highly-rated rookies in Super League before being snapped up by the Knights in the 2021 pre-season.

The nephew of Raiders hooker Josh, Bailey is a naturally gifted fullback with speed, power, strength and maturity far above his age.

While he's likely to be groomed throughout his first season at the Club, he would be an exciting edition to the first grade squad should he be given an opportunity to debut in 2021.

Simi Sasagi

He may be more at home in the halves, but young Sasagi is as versatile as he is talented.

The young gun scored four tries in the first 35 minutes of his Jersey Flegg debut, and spent plenty of time training at the back last season.