Kalyn Ponga. Photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/naparazzi/-Wikimedia Commons

Top 10 Remarkable Facts about Kalyn Ponga


Kalyn Ponga is a professional rugby league footballer currently playing as a fullback for the Newcastle Knights in the National Rugby League (NRL), and he also captains.

He signed his first professional contract when he joined North Queensland Cowboys. At the international level, he played for New Zealand Mario.

Ponga played for Queensland in the State of Origin series. He also played as a five-eighth and debuted on the wing.

Learn more about Kalyn Ponga in these top 10 remarkable facts

1. Kalyn Ponga Is of Māori Descent

Ponga was born on March 30, 1998, in Port Hedland, Western Australia, to parents with origin from New Zealand. At the age of 2, his family moved to Mount Isa, Queensland and at 8, his family relocated to Palmerston North, New Zealand.

At Palmerston North, New Zealand, Ponga spent five years here. He played several sports such as rugby union, rugby league, touch football, golf, soccer and hockey. 

Ponga won New Zealand’s under-13 national golf championship in 2010. At the age of 13, in 2011, Ponga and his family returned to Queensland and the family settled in Mackay.

2. Ponga Educational Background

Kalyn Ponga. Photo sourced from Wikimedia Commons

He started formal education by attending Mackay State High School and was a member of the Rugby League Academy program. Ponga was also playing junior rugby league for Souths Mackay.

Ponga was signed to a scholarship with the Central Queensland NRL bid side in 2011. He was also selected for the Australian Schoolboys under-15 side and became just the second 14-year-old to make the side.

In 2013, Ponga was a scholarship holder with the Brisbane Broncos and moved to Brisbane. He started attending Anglican Church Grammar School and competed for their rugby union side in the prestigious GPS competition while still playing for Easts Tigers in the Cyril Connell Cup.

Still in Brisbane, he started playing Australian rules football. He was placed in the Brisbane Lions Talent Academy after being spotted at a representative Rugby league match where he was considered an outstanding prospect.

In 2015, Ponga moved to Townsville, where he attended Ignatius Park College. Here he played for the Townsville Stingers in the Mal Meninga Cup.

3. Ponga is a Professional Rugby League Footballer

He is a professional rugby league footballer who captains and plays as a fullback. Ponga played as a five-eighth and debuted on the wing.

Since he started playing rugby, he has represented many clubs making outstanding performances and making many achievements and accolades.

He has played for North Queensland Cowboys, Newcastle Knights, Brisbane Lions, Easts Tigers and Australian rules football.

4. Ponga Played for Queensland

Ponga played for Queensland in the State of Origin series. In June, he made his debut for the State of Origin for Queensland in Game II of the 2018 State of Origin series.

During his first debut on the field, he played as an interchange bench in the 28th minute. He played out of position in the middle of the field. Ponga played 52 minutes, made 29 tackles, and made a line break late in the game.

In Game three of the 2021 State of Origin series, he returned to Queensland Origin. Ponga played a part in Queensland’s 20-18 win to prevent a New South Wales whitewash for the series.

5. Ponga Played for the North Queensland Cowboys

Kalyn Ponga. Photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/naparazzi/-Wikimedia Commons

The 15-year-old Ponga signed a four-year contract with the North Queensland Cowboys in December 2013. The Brisbane Lions continued to pursue Ponga after he committed to the Cowboys.

In August 2015, he made his NYC debut for the Cowboys. Ponga finished the year as the Cowboy’s starting fullback scoring 8 tries in 8 games. In November 2016, he joined the first-grade squad for pre-season training.

He played for the North Queensland Cowboys Holden Cup team from 2015 to 2017, playing 44 games, scoring 32 tries and kicking 42 goals for 212 points in his U-20s career.

6. Ponga Plays for The Newcastle Knights

In November 2016, it was confirmed Ponga signed a contract with the Newcastle Knights of the National Rugby League (NRL)starting in 2018.

During the 2018 season, in round 1, he made his debut for the Knights in their 19-18 golden point extra-time win over the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, scoring a try and kicking three goals.

Ponga extended his contract in June 2020 with Newcastle until the end of 2024. The last two years of the deal were options in Ponga’s favor.

In round 6 of the 2021 NRL season, he scored two tries in a man-of-the-match performance as Newcastle defeated Cronulla-Sutherland 26-22.

Ponga had up to June 2022 to activate his 2023 and 2024 seasons. In April 2022, he signed a five-year contract until the end of 2027. The new contract replaced the existing deal moving into 2023.

7. At International Level, Ponga Played for New Zealand Māori

Kalyn Ponga. Photo sourced from Wikimedia Commons

In 2019 he played for the New Zealand Mario in an All-Stars match. The match was played between the Indigenous All-Stars and the Mario All-Stars for the first time, and Indigenous All-Stars won. He also played for the club in 2020.

8. Ponga’s Zodiac Sign is Aries

His Zodiac sign is an Aries; the dates of Aries are March 21-April 19. Those born under the Aries zodiac sign have exciting and enthusiastic energy. Aries love competition in all its forms.

However, they can be aggressive, self-centered, pushy, inconsistent, bad-tempered, and selfish. They regularly seek new and challenging adventures that can push their limits. Aries are brave, direct, fearless, independent and have a deep sense of justice. 

9. Throughout His Career, Ponga Has Received Several Accolades

In 2016, Ponga spent most of the season playing for the Cowboys NYC. He was titled fullback in the NYC Team of the Year.

The Ponga 2017 season was a successful one. He earned a nomination for the RLPA Rookie of the Year award.

10. Ponga Loves Playing Video Games

It’s hard for him as a gamer because you will wonder where he finds time to play video games due to his excellent performance in rugby league, golf and rugby union. 

During an interview, he revealed that gaming helps him unwind and decompress away from the rigors of being a professional sportsman.

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