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Captain Kalyn: Ponga earns leadership nod

nib Newcastle Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga will achieve another historic milestone when he captains the Knights in the Rd.21 clash against Brisbane this Thursday.

With Head Coach Adam O'Brien set to rest Jayden Brailey for the showdown, Ponga will take the captaincy reigns for the first time in his career.

Ponga was one of five players, including Brailey, Daniel Saifiti, Mitch Barnett and now-NRLW Coach Blake Green, to be named in the squad's official leadership group back in January.

The players were chosen following an extensive selection process and were tasked with leading the club both on and off the field throughout 2021.

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Ponga holds a highly regarded and extremely influential leadership role amongst the group. Being named as skipper for the first time adds another reward and represents a natural progression in his development.  

Chris Randall will come into the team as Brailey's replacement at hooker, in what will be his first NRL game since breaking an arm against the Gold Coast back in April.

Randall will help form a strong Knights spine, featuring Ponga, the returning Mitchell Pearce and Jake Clifford in his 50th NRL appearance.

Brailey has missed just 31 minutes of football all season, and will be able to enjoy a well-earned rest on the back of a four-day turnaround after our clash with Canberra was moved back 24 hours.

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