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Ponga: 'I want to work at my craft at the back'

A determined Kalyn Ponga returned to training duties this week and reiterated his desire to continue wearing the No.1 jersey.

The Queensland representative has established himself as one of the game's premier fullbacks in recent seasons finishing the 2021 season with 22 try-involvements and averaged close to 150 running metres per game.

With pre-season now underway heading into 2022, Ponga believes the best is yet to come.

“I’m playing fullback,” Ponga said.

“There was discussion (about moving to the halves), but I put that to bed.

“I had a chat with Adzy (Adam O’Brien) and once we sort of finalised what I wanted to do and what we think is best for the team, now I’m pretty settled.

“I want to work at my craft at the back, I still think I’ve got plenty to go back there.

“For me, it’s about being better in my position.”

Ponga, along with several squad members, returned for day one of pre-season on Wednesday.

After another big year of football which saw them relocate to Queensland and qualify for the finals, the side had a well-earned rest.

Fuelled by the hurt of the Elimination Final loss, the boys returned with a steely edge ready to put the work in.

And after serving last pre-season recovering from a shoulder surgery, it was a welcome return to the field for KP.

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“It feels like first day of school all again,” Ponga said.

“Just that nervous, exciting feeling.

“Happy to be back, we haven’t been back at Mayfield for a long time now obviously with the relocation.

“My energy is here, my focus is here and I get to have a pre-season this year which I’m very excited about."

Ponga also stated his excitement to work with a former Knights all-time great and premiership winner.

Andrew Johns has returned to the Club as a Coaching Consultant and will work closely with the spine.

The fullback spoke about his eagerness to learn and work with him.

“I’ve had two sessions with him already, and in those two sessions I just feel the amount of detail, and attention, care and want that he has," Ponga said.

“Obviously he speaks for himself and I’m excited to get to work.

“He’s going to be awesome for us.

“I’ve had a little bit to do with (Adam) Clune, obviously Phoenix (Crossland) coming through, he gets better every year. I’ve played with Cliffo (Jake Clifford), he’s going to get better as well.

“The Club is in a position where we want to work hard and be better.

“It’s healthy competition in the halves, and us as a group and a spine, we want to get better.”