Phil Gould fears Kalyn Ponga’s rugby league profession is “in jeopardy” and is bemused in regards to the Knights’ insistence on shifting the co-captain from fullback to five-eighth.
Ponga suffered his fourth head damage within the final 10 months when he collided with Wests Tigers second-rower Asu Kepaoa on Sunday afternoon.
The Queensland State of Origin weapon was knocked out as he braced himself for a sort out just below 80 seconds into the Leichhardt Oval fixture.
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Gould raised concern over Ponga enjoying at five-eighth, the place he is pressured to make extra tackles than at fullback, when pressed on 9’s 100% Footy on Monday night time.
“The people who coach him and work with him every day probably know best what position he should be playing. I don’t like to second-guess coaches for that reason,” Gould stated.
“I just don’t understand the obsession these days with trying to move class fullbacks into the five-eighth position. Maybe because they can go and buy another fullback but they can’t go and buy another five-eighth.
“I simply do not know that is the suitable place for him in the intervening time.”
Before Sunday, the last time Ponga was concussed was when he copped a high hit from Matt Lodge in July last year.
Ponga, who’d suffered his third concussion in three weeks, didn’t play again in 2022.
Newcastle then moulded him into a five-eighth over the summer, pairing him up in the halves with off-season recruit Jackson Hastings and handing Lachlan Miller, another new signing, the No.1 jumper.
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“My concern with Kalyn — and I’ve retired two gamers due to repeated concussions in my profession — is the benefit with which it occurs now,” Gould added.
“I do not see these knocks as something excessive, (or knocks) that must be inflicting that kind of downside for him. It simply appears now he reacts badly to collisions which are actually fairly simple, and that is not a very good signal.
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“I think his career is in jeopardy, to be honest. I don’t know how you sort through that.
“I get involved extra on the ease with which they get concussed and the way repeatedly that occurs.”
Paul Gallen is also worried about the way in which Ponga is sustaining head injuries.
“Not solely is he getting concussed, not solely is he getting hit and falling over and stumbling to get again up — he is out,” Gallen said.
“As soon as he will get hit he is out chilly on the best way to the bottom. To me that is the scary factor … It was a good hit, however you see them in in all probability a good few tackles within the recreation, and as I say, he was out. He by no means hit the bottom and was in a daze; he was out, he was out chilly, he was out chilly from the time he acquired hit. In order that’s regarding.”
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