Kalyn Ponga will return to fullback for Newcastle’s clash against the Dragons. Picture: AAP
Kalyn Ponga will return to fullback for Newcastle’s clash against the Dragons. Picture: AAP

Confirmed: Brown calls time on Ponga experiment

IT'S official, the Kalyn Ponga five-eighth experiment is over.

Knights coach Nathan Brown on Monday spoke with Newcastle's star youngster where it was determined Ponga playing fullback was the best fit for the team.

Brown started the year with Ponga in the unfamiliar five-eighth position at the youngster's request, but after two losses in the opening three rounds the pressure was growing on everyone at the Knights.

 

Newcastle great Matty Johns agreed with the decision to shift Ponga to the back, declaring the Knights' attacking structure didn't suit his style.

"He's good enough to play six there's no doubt, he's got the talent to play anywhere," Johns said.

"The problem with the Knights structure is where he receives the ball playing six, it just isn't suiting him, it's always on those block lines.

"There's two options for Newcastle, either they revamp the structure of their attack completely or push him back to one. I'm certain it'll be the latter come Tuesday."

Ponga looked frustrated during last week's loss to Canberra, before he was switched to fullback for the final 20 minutes.

He will don the No.1 jersey for Sunday's crucial clash with the Dragons.

It's still uncertain if Connor Watson will return from a knee injury, but former Warrior Mason Lino and Kurt Mann - who switched from fullback to five-eighth against the Raiders - are options to join Mitchell Pearce in the halves.