Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga has withdrawn from the Queensland Origin squad and will have surgery next week to repair cartilage damage in his shoulder.
Ponga, who was crowned Knights' Player of the Year on Thursday night, winning his second Danny Buderus Medal, would have been an automatic choice as fullback for game one of next month's Origin series but has succumbed to the injury which has plagued him for the past six weeks after being ruled out by the Maroons medical staff.
"I'm devastated to miss out on Origin," Ponga said in a statement.
"I love pulling on the Maroons jersey. It is a privilege to play in the NRL and a privilege to be selected to represent Queensland.
"As an athlete and competitor, I pride myself on performing no matter how my body feels but I also accept that both the Maroons and Knights medical staff have my best interest at heart in making this decision.
"I wish the Queensland camp all the best for a successful 2020 series. I'll be cheering loudly from home and will be working tirelessly to earn my place back in the squad next year."
The statement also expressed the disappointment of the Ponga family in suggestions the fullback would be unavailable for Origin as a result of frustrations caused by living within the NRL bubble.
It's expected Ponga should recover from the surgery in time to start next season with the Knights.
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here
IN THE NEWS:
- PHOTOS: Knight of glamour on the red and blue carpet at Newcastle's presentation
- NRL: Kayln Ponga poised to make Origin call after claiming second Danny Buderus Medal
- Newcastle RL: Rouse's return results in key role at Rosellas during 2020
- A-League: Newcastle Jets reinforce dwindling roster via loan deal for Najjarine
- Cricket: Jason Sangha poised to 'pounce' on Sheffield Shield chance for NSW