Knights star Kalyn Ponga says he has unfinished business at fullback and is not even entertaining a permanent move into the halves next season as a replacement for the departed Mitchell Pearce.
But while he hosed down talk of a positional switch in 2022 during his first day on the job at pre-season training on Wednesday, his longer term future remains clouded with the 23-year-old refusing to publicly declare he will be at the Knights beyond the end of next season.
That's despite refuting rumours he has spoken to Wayne Bennett about a potential move to the Dolphins in 2023.
Ponga, who has options in his favour in the final two years of his Knights deal which allows him to talk to rival clubs, appears content to allow the speculation to continue, declaring his sole focus is on winning a premiership with the Knights next season.
Asked about his future and the constant speculation, a cagey Ponga gave little away declaring: "I'm pretty used to it now. I think if I'm on contract for 10 years, they'd still ask me what I'm doing.
"It doesn't use up my energy for people to write that sort of stuff. My energy is here, my attention is here and I just want to build on last year.
"I've never really thought about my contract. My support around me, my old man pretty much, he deals with that. I've always just focused on the Knights.
"I want to be here, I want to win a comp, that's really my goal so I just really want to drive that. I'm excited for this year."
Ponga said he has not spoken to Bennett but admitted he is not sure if his father Andre, who is also his manager, had been contacted by the Dolphins coach.
Pressed on the options in the final two years of his contract and when he might make a firm decision on his future, he said: "I don't know. I'm not really sure to be honest. I'm just not thinking about that.
"I need to write something on my forehead that I'm here [at the Knights] and committed. I always get questions but that's not where my energy lies. My energy lies here."
One thing Ponga is clear about is his desire to remain in the No.1 jersey despite Pearce's departure and conjecture about whether he could make a move to five-eighth at some stage next season if the Knights fall to sign a replacement.
"I'm excited to be fullback this year," he said. I want to work on my craft. I've still got a long way to go in that position. The way I sort of play fullback, I can play as a half in attack [anyway] but No.1 will be on my jersey."
As for a future halves move, he said: "I kind of just want to be the best fullback I can be. That's what I'm thinking about now. I can't really look too far down the track."
As for Pearce, Ponga said replacing him won't be easy.
"But it gives our younger boys who are our halves a chance. Obviously we lose him but we are not going to focus on that, we are going to focus on what we have here.
"As a spine, we are in a good position where we all want to be better. It's not about one person. It's about us as a collective."
Ponga said he is excited about the chance to work closely with a "perfectionist" like new consultant and club legend Andrew Johns.
"I've had a couple of sessions with him already," he said. "He's got a lot of attention to detail, he's passionate, he wants to be here and he wants to help us.
"You sort of see the character that he is but when he crosses the white line like when he played, he's like a perfectionist I guess.
"I've had two sessions with him now and I'm very excited."
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