KALYN Ponga will rack up his 50th NRL game this weekend, and Knights fans can only hope there are many more to come.
As speculation mounts about his future, and the prospect of switching to rugby union, the dynamic fullback has declared his intention is to become a long-term NRL player who wins a premiership with Newcastle.
"I'm not going to sit here and go: 'I'm happy with 50'," Ponga said on Monday.
"I want to play as many games as I can. I want to play every week with the boys ... 50 [games] flew by. I didn't realise I was there.
"I want to be here for a long time and keep playing - 300 games, as many as I can."
Asked to clarify if he meant 300 games for Newcastle, Ponga replied: "Yeah, happy here." He then added: "The Knights are foremost in my mind. I want to win. I want to win a comp."
The 21-year-old said there had been "crazy speculation" about his future plans, including a report that Knights officials were willing to offer him a contract with an exit clause that would potentially allow him to chase the dream of representing the All Blacks.
"I appreciate everyone wanting to know what I'm doing," he said.
"But it's the same thing as always, and the message I want to always show to my fans and the club is that I just want to focus on now.
"That's the sort of person that I am. I always have been and I always will be ...
"I don't know anything about the contract. Like I said, if I'm going into this week's game going: 'What am I going to be doing in four years?' I'm not in the right head frame.
"For me, I'm just worrying about today, and then probably what I'm going to have for dinner tonight, and then I'll worry about tomorrow."
Ponga is contracted to Newcastle until at least the end of 2021, plus he has an option in his favour for the following season. There would appear no reason for him to rush into any decision.
Newcastle management, however, will be eager to extend his deal as soon as possible, and are already in discussions with his father, Andre, who is acting as Kalyn's manager.
Ponga's priority is focusing on Saturday's season-opening clash with the Warriors at McDonald Jones Stadium, in which his head-to-head duel with Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck shapes as a highlight.
"You always want to get one up, no matter who it is," he said.
"You always want to win. Roger just happens to be one of the best in the game, so if I can get one up, I'll be very happy."
The Queensland Origin representative said he had been unaware of his 50-game milestone "until my old man told me last week".
After playing nine games for North Queensland, he has made 40 appearances for Newcastle over the past two seasons.
"It's pretty big," he said. "Looking back, obviously I've played a lot of my footy here and a little bit at the Cows.
"Fifty has flown by for me, to be honest. I didn't think I was at that number yet ... for some people it's not many, for some people it's a lot.
"But I think it's pretty big."
Ponga added that he would "love more wins" from his next 50 games.