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Kalyn Ponga 'had a secret meeting with Wayne Bennett' as Dolphins hopes to land Knights fullback

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Kalyn Ponga ‘had a secret meeting with Wayne Bennett’ as Dolphins coach puts a rocket under his efforts to get the Knights fullback to jump ship 

  • Kalyn Ponga has emerged as the Dolphins’ No1 target ahead of next season
  • Newcastle fullback met Wayne Bennett and Redcliffe executives in Sydney
  • Ponga has until Round 12 to decide whether to trigger an extension with Knights
  • Newcastle have reportedly offered him $1.2million to remain at the club 

Kalyn Ponga is reportedly considering joining the Dolphins next season and met Wayne Bennett for lunch in Sydney on Saturday.

Redcliffe are desperate to sign a superstar ahead of their inaugural season in the NRL next year and the Newcastle Knights fullback has long been on their radar. 

According to The Sunday Telegraph, the 23-year-old met Bennett at an undisclosed location in Sydney after the Knights lost 18-0 to Cronulla on Friday night. Redcliffe CEO Terry Reader and also attended the meeting.

Newcastle fullback Kalyn Ponga is the number one target for the Dolphins

Newcastle fullback Kalyn Ponga is the number one target for the Dolphins 

‘We’re constantly talking to players about building our squad,’ Reader told The Sunday Telegraph. 

‘There’s a lot of moving pieces. We’re in negotiations every day with players and agents.

‘We just don’t comment on these talks. We want the best players like the other 16 clubs. We’re doing everything we can to assemble the best roster we can.’ 

Ponga has until Round 12 to decide whether to trigger an extension that will keep him at the Knights next season and Newcastle have reportedly offered their captain in the region of $1.2million to convince him to remain with the club he joined in 2018.

Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett met Ponga on Saturday at a'secret location' in Sydney

Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett met Ponga on Saturday at a ‘secret location’ in Sydney

Ponga has played four Tests for Queensland and a move north of the border would be a major coup for the Redcliffe-based Dolphins

Ponga has played four Tests for Queensland and a move north of the border would be a major coup for the Redcliffe-based Dolphins

The Queensland star, however, is understood to be giving serious consideration to a move north of the border.

The Dolphins have missed out on a number of their main targets, with Jahrome Hughes and Harry Grant opting to remain with the Melbourne Storm. 

Ponga and Cameron Munster are the only marquee players left on the market, but the latter is under contract with the Storm until the end of next season. 

‘They [the Dolphins] are now admitting that they’ve talked to Cameron Munster’s manager Braith Anasta about the possibility of signing Munster from 2024,’ SEN reporter Michelle Bishop told Fox Footy earlier this week.

‘Munster is not in a rush of course and his preference is to stay in Melbourne.

‘He can’t actually sign with a rival club from November 1 and again that has a bit to play out.’

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