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Ponga: 'It's the fittest I've ever felt'

Those are the words from nib Newcastle Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga.

Words that will strike fear into his opponents amongst the thought of Ponga's game rising to another level.

The 23-year-old made his return from a shoulder injury in the defeat to the Gold Coast Titans last Saturday and albeit on the wrong end of the scoreboard, the Queensland Origin representative was one of the best on ground.

Ponga scored a breakaway try in the latter part of the second half showcasing his blistering speed to race away from Titans fullback AJ Brimson.

Ponga strikes from long-range

Kalyn was the latest guest on the KNIGHTS // HQ Podcast, the official podcast of the Newcastle Knights, and was asked about his current fitness levels and whether it's the best he has felt so far in his professional career.

"Yes, numbers wise," Ponga told the KNIGHTS // HQ Podcast.

"I definitely am the fittest (I've felt)."

"From what I've seen, it's the fittest I've seen Kalyn and the fittest that a lot of the boys are looking," guest host and teammate Connor Watson added.

Kalyn & Connor: Creativity, life away from footy and giving back

Kalyn underwent a gruelling recovery process through the off-season and missed four games at the start of this season in order to reach 100% fitness.

The fullback has come out the other side to take his place back into the Knights line-up.

Having only played 69 NRL games, Ponga is ready to fire on all cylinders as the Knights aim to snap a three game losing streak against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks this Friday. 

Kalyn reflected on his recovery time on the KNIGHTS // HQ Podcast.

Recovery Report: Squad health check-in and Edrick update

"It's not a fun place," Ponga said.

"It's my first time being in rehab and coming back from a (long-term) injury.

"I knew how important it was and that was my mindset. Towards the back end I could see the light and having (Blake) Green definitely helped me having him there with me.

Teammate and close friend Connor Watson sympathised with Ponga having also spent time on the sidelines with significant injuries including an Achilles injury last season.

"I don't know how many rehab's I've done over the last few years," Watson said.

"This one (the Achilles injury) was bigger than all the other ones I've had to do.

"I feel good, the performance staff here at the Knights have done a great job.

The dynamic pair have been named to take on the Sharks this Friday with Watson reverting back to lock forward.

AOB: Attitude, Best return and team changes

The pair also provided their Health and Fitness Philosophy Tips on the podcast, brought to you by Balance Collective.

"Like most things in life, if it makes you happy, just go for it," Ponga said.

"When it comes to a lot of things, do it in moderation," Watson added.

"You've got to be strict with your diet sometimes, but you've also got to enjoy yourself too.

"Have a cheat meal here or there, just make sure you get after it the next day."

Catch the latest episode of the KNIGHTS // HQ Podcast here and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts to stay tuned for more episodes throughout the season.