Kiwis coach David Kidwell cagey on Kalyn Ponga's representative future

Kalyn Ponga
Kalyn Ponga lit up the NRL Auckland Nines (Photosport image)

Despite being one of the NRL's best and brightest stars in 2016, Kiwis coach David Kidwell admits he hasn't been in touch with Kalyn Ponga over his rep future.

Last season, the teen prodigy was plucked from the North Queensland Cowboys wider squad to become just the sixth player to make his debut in a finals match.

Born in Western Australia, Ponga qualifies for both the Kangaroos and the Kiwis with his dad being from New Zealand.

While not publicly pledging his allegiance to either Australia or New Zealand, a cryptic Kidwell suggested Ponga had already made his mind up.

"One thing I learnt about last year is I want players who want to play in the Kiwis jersey and that's how I'll be picking the team," Kidwell said.

"I haven't had any communication with Kalyn… I'm looking at all Kiwi players, as far as I know Kalyn hasn't played first grade yet so we have to make sure we have committed people in that Kiwis team that really want to play for the Kiwis."

The utility back would clearly be a great acquisition for either country but at the announcement of new Kiwis assistant coach Steve McNamara, Kidwell seemed intent on making sure players and coaches already in the Kiwis set-up were fully committed to the side.

"We need to move forward, we need to show more commitment there with the players equally the staff as well.

"We need to be fully committed, reset our values and standards in the Kiwi team and make sure we're all aligned to move forward.