Monday , March 27 2023

Olympian who will trigger Ponga switch

The Newcastle Knights have signed former Cronulla Sharks halfback Lachlan Miller for the 2023 season.

Miller’s new deal will see the 28-year-old pull on the red and blue for the next three seasons, after being released from the final year of his contract with Cronulla.

Newcastle’s director of football Peter Parr confirmed Miller would line up at fullback.

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The move is set to add greater versatility to the Knights’ spine and backline while freeing up captain Kalyn Ponga to shift to five-eighth.

“This signing provides us with more options in our backline,” Parr said.

“We have signed Lachlan predominantly to play fullback, we also believe he has the versatility to play multiple positions.

“He is a gifted athlete, with great speed and a player who will add excellent value to our squad.”

Newcastle coach Adam O’Brien earlier announced the position change for Ponga, citing his recent spate of concussions for forcing the accelerated switch.

“When Kalyn was ruled out for the end of the season with his HIA issues, the decision was made then,” he told SEN.

Joey praises Ponga’s World Cup call

Miller played rugby league until the age of 22 before he was talent-identified by Rugby Australia for its World Rugby Sevens Series program.

He went on to play 50 games on the international stage, even representing Australia in Rugby 7s at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

In late 2021, Miller signed with the Sharks after an impressive showing with the Newtown Jets in the NSW Cup.

In his debut NRL season, he scored three tries in seven matches at fullback, wing and utility off the bench, earning him Cronulla’s Steve Rogers Award as rookie of the year.

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