Kalyn Ponga has vowed to deliver the city of Newcastle its third premiership in return for a four-year contract extension that makes him one of the NRL's highest-paid players.
A Knights announcement confirming Ponga's upgraded new deal, understood to be worth more than $1 million a year, was made on Tuesday evening.
Ponga was already under contract until the end of next season, but Newcastle have moved swiftly to ensure their most important signing since club icons Andrew Johns and Danny Buderus were secured in the mid-'90s.
The lure of rugby union and an All Blacks bid has loomed large more than once for the Kiwi-raised star, but Ponga has committed himself to ending a premiership-drought that is now approaching 20 years in the Hunter.
"It's no secret I want to win a comp in Newcastle, I want to hold the trophy up here," Ponga said.
The driving reason behind Ponga's extension with the Knights
"It's very exciting and a very proud moment for myself and my family. We're building towards something and I can definitely feel it. It's something that I want to be a part of and I'm excited to be a part of.
"There was a lot of talk in the media about rugby union but I've always said I'm focused on the Knights and have been since I walked in the door."
Knights CEO Phil Gardner has confirmed that Ponga's new contract does not contain any form of "All Blacks" get-out clause.
Ponga will be 26 by the time his new Knights deal, which includes an upgrade for next season, expires.
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His father Andre negotiated the contract after Ponga split with his previous agent last year, with the senior Ponga detailing how Kalyn's first Knights deal went towards a house for his family.
"I’m pretty proud to say we’re looking after his first house," Andre Ponga said on Tuesday.
"When people ask I’m proud to say it’s (Kalyn’s) house. He might say it’s ours but it’s not, it’s his.
“That’s one goal we set when he was a 14 year old.”
Ponga finished as Dally M medallist runner-up in his first season at Newcastle in 2018, and looms as a Queensland Origin mainstay for years to come.
He and rookie coach Adam O'Brien have formed a close bond since the latter's arrival at the club, while Gardner hailed Ponga's re-commitment as a seismic moment for the Knights.
"Kalyn is that once-in-a-generation player that comes along whose ability on the field is equally as good as his ability off the field," Gardner said.
"Kalyn's become, in a very short period of time, the face of rugby league and if he's not the most followed male athlete in Australia, he's very close and he will be in the future.
"We're lucky enough to have had an Immortal [Andrew Johns] play here for us but we think Kalyn has as much potential as anyone that has ever come through our club.
"He's a very modest young man, he's humble and he's a great leader of our club already."