Concussion forces Ponga out of Dogs clash

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Newcastle captain Kalyn Ponga is "embarrassed" by missing games through concussion after opting to sit out this Sunday's clash with Canterbury following a series of head knocks.

Ponga will meet with a neurologist this week after sustaining a third concussion in the space of six weeks.

He will then make a decision on whether to play this year or rest ahead of the 2023 campaign.

Newcastle are currently 14th and have no hope of making the finals.

On Tuesday the fullback cited headaches and forgetfulness as symptoms of his latest head knocks.

"It (missing the remaining rounds) would be pretty gut-wrenching," he said.

"At the same time, I understand it's my health and that's the priority.

"All my mates, coaches and family keep saying: 'your health is your priority'.

"I'll be guided by what he (the neurologist) says and we'll go from there."

The fullback, who signed a new five-year contract with the club earlier this year, said the lure of playing for the Kangaroos at this year's World Cup would not sway his decision over whether to play again this season.

"That's a dream, an opportunity of a lifetime," he said of potentially winning his first Australian Test cap.

"I'm not thinking too far ahead, though. Again, I just have to see what the specialist says and see what he thinks I can do."

Ponga played just eight minutes in last Friday's loss to the Sydney Roosters when he banged his head on the turf at McDonald Jones Stadium.

He said he felt humiliated by going off through what appeared to be an innocuous bump.

He also suffered concussions playing for Queensland in State of Origin II and in the Knights' round-14 defeat by Penrith.

"I felt this overwhelming feeling of embarrassment at first," he said.

"It took me a little bit (of time) to understand that but I felt like people come to watch the game and I leave the field."

Ponga has been replaced by Tex Hoy for this weekend's game against the Bulldogs.

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