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Ponga and Brailey named as Captains for 2022 NRL season

The nib Newcastle Knights are proud to announce the appointment of Kalyn Ponga and Jayden Brailey as NRL Captains for the 2022 Telstra Premiership season.

Ponga will lead the team on field as Team Captain while Brailey has been confirmed as Club Captain for the year ahead.

Both players possess considerable leadership qualities having formed part of the leadership group in 2021.

Heading into his fifth season with the Knights, 23-year-old Ponga has played 74 matches in red and blue and has represented Queensland on four occasions.

The two-time Danny Buderus Medal winner has shown natural leadership qualities since arriving in Newcastle in 2018, complimenting his skill, toughness and resilience on the field.

Knights Head Coach, Adam O’Brien, spoke about Ponga’s influence and the decision to name him as Team Captain.

“Kalyn has always been an influential part of our Club,” O’Brien said.

“From day one in this pre-season, Kalyn has led with his actions both on and off the field.

“He is unique in that he possesses both a sense of calm and a fierce will to compete and to win.

“This is a huge honour and we all agree the time is right for Kalyn to be appointed as Captain of the Newcastle Knights.”

Brailey led from the front in 2021 for the Newcastle Knights, starting 23 matches at hooker and co-captaining the side as part of the 2021 leadership group.

The dummy-half has continually shown his courage and tenacity on and off the field, including his current efforts to recover from an Achilles Tendon injury.

O’Brien says Brailey’s character makes him the ideal Club Captain, even going so far as to compare the 25-year-old to one of the Knights all-time most revered clubmen.

“Jayden plays a huge role for the Knights, not just on game day or just in the NRL,” O’Brien said.

“Anyone who knows Brails understands his character and the respect he has earnt amongst his team mates, in the community and across the NRL.  

“When he returns to the field, he will join Kalyn for on-field responsibilities, playing a similar role to what Billy Peden did for Andrew Johns throughout their careers.

“He relates to everyone, and is the perfect person to represent the Club.”

The NRL side will play a pre-season trial tonight against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs before their Round 1 match against the Sydney Roosters on March 12.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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