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knights wary of roosters raid as third party speaks out over ponga deal
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Knights wary of Roosters raid as third party speaks out over Ponga deal

Knights sources with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity in order to speak freely told this masthead that Gardner recently spotted Andre Ponga having coffee with Roosters recruitment manager Clint Zammit, as part of a regular catch-up, at the Pullman Hotel in Sydney’s CBD. Zammit, who used to work at the Knights and led the negotiations that led to Ponga extending his contract at the Knights in 2022 until the end of 2027, is a close friend of the Ponga family. The recruitment manager signed Kalyn Ponga to the North Queensland Cowboys as a teenager and is still in regular dialogue with Andre despite joining the Roosters in 2023. A senior Roosters official told the Herald on Tuesday night that the club was not attempting to lure Ponga out of his Knights deal and that Zammit had met with Andre Ponga in an unofficial capacity. Newcastle’s recruitment manager Adam Doyle was also seen at the Pullman Hotel with Ponga and Zammit on their way to a junior representative game.

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