'He reeks of class' - Mitchell Pearce blown away by Knights wonderkid Kalyn Ponga

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From cellar dwellers to the NRL's new entertainers.

Ryley Jacks of the Storm tackles Kalyn Ponga of the Cowboys in the Downer NRL Auckland Rugby League Nines match, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, Sunday, February 05, 2017. Copyright photo: David Rowland / www.photosport.nz

Ryley Jacks of the Storm tackles Kalyn Ponga of the Cowboys in the Downer NRL Auckland Rugby League Nines.

Source: Photosport

That's Mitchell Pearce's prediction for Newcastle for the 2018 season.

Pearce's arrival in the Hunter this week heralds a new era for the club in the wake of a disastrous few years which has seen them collect three successive wooden spoons.

While the NSW State of Origin playmaker has been hailed as the most important signing in the club's history, he has predicted fellow marquee recruits Kalyn Ponga and Connor Watson to have the biggest impact.

He said he had been blown away by the class of Ponga after two training sessions with the ex-North Queensland Cowboys teenager.

Pearce predicted the Knights would play an off-the-cuff and exciting brand of football in 2018, on the back of Ponga's natural instincts and running game.

"He's one of those guys, when you see him, he reeks of class," Pearce told Triple M.

"He's a real stylish sort of bloke. You can tell by the way he moves, he's a real superstar.

"He's a really good bloke. We went to dinner last night and he wants to be the best player he can be.

"Some of the things he's done at training, it's definitely going to make my job easier.

"With Connor there as well, there's some real ad-lib, fast players.

"I think the Knights are going to play a really good style... "

Pearce is expected to partner Connor Watson in the halves with Ponga to slot in at fullback.

Pearce has joined fellow ex-Roosters Watson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Aidan Guerra at the Knights.

The Roosters were known as one of the most well-drilled and structured sides in the competition, however, Pearce has predicted a floating style of play for his new side.

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