With November 1st now behind us the Redcliffe Dolphins can now officially start to sign up players to their 2023 squad. NRL players who come off contract at the end of the 2022 NRL season can negotiate contracts with clubs RIGHT NOW, and that has seen a lot of speculation as to who the Dolphins will be targeting for their inaugural season.
One of the biggest names being tossed up right now is that of Kalyn Ponga of the Newcastle Knights.
Ponga will be 25 years old in March 2023, just as the Dolphins have started their first season in the NRL. He is a State Of origin player for Queensland, which would help with the clubs marketing, and they could sign him to a lucrative 5 years deal and get the very best years of his career.
Ponga is use to the type of pressure that comes from being a big name signing. When he side a very good deal with the Newcastle Knights after less than a dozen games with the North Queensland Cowboys, the pressure was immediately on.
Ponga joined a struggling Knights club that was rebuilding and looking for a potential star of the future. They paid him very, very well for his stature in the game, and while Ponga has at times struggled with injuries, he has also provided some amazing highlights while playing for the Knights.
The Knights 2021 NRL season was disappointing to say the least, and with Mitchell Pearce looking to head to the Catalan Dragons for the 2022 season, and the clubs coach Adam O’Brien under the spotlight, Ponga may look to involve some of the reported clauses in his contract that would allow him to move to a different club if he so choses.
I personally believe the Dolphins should chase Ponga to play five-eight rather than be their fullback. I think playing at fullback sees Ponga open to a lot of physical battering from opposition clubs and contributes to his injury issues.
There is no doubt Ponga has the skill to play in the halves, and he would add a real X factor to the clubs attack in its first season, especially if the Dolphins could manage to paid him up with a solid first grader halfback.
Ponga is a marketable player, especially among younger fans of the game, and he is the type of player that you can get excited to go and see play the game.
So while other big name players are on the Dolphins hit list, I’m hoping Ponga is at the very top. To see him playing with the new expansion club would be great for the game, and really show that the Dolphins are looking to make a splash in 2023.
I know…Im sorry… 😀