NRL star Kalyn Ponga claims ignorance of alcohol impacts on concussion

Kalyn Ponga claims he didn't know the impacts alcohol could have on concussions when he was caught on a night out late last season while sidelined with head injuries.

Ponga fronted media on Monday for the first time since being captured walking out of a pub toilet cubicle with Newcastle teammate Kurt Mann last August.

The Knights captain insisted that Mann had come to his aid after he fell ill from something he ate, despite his father Andre revealing at the time the pair had been drinking after Ponga purchased a house.

Ponga and Mann were both cleared by an NRL integrity unit investigation and drug test, but questions lingered over Ponga's drinking while sitting out the end of the season with concussions.

While Ponga admitted he erred in going out while sitting out the final seven rounds, he was adamant he was not aware of studies that indicate alcohol can slow recovery from concussions.

"I didn't know the affects alcohol could have on concussions," Ponga said on Monday.

"Obviously it's not great for concussions. I have learned a lot from that time. But at that point of time, no (I wasn't aware).

"Concussions aren't a foreign part of the game, but there is so much stuff people don't know.

"I look back on that time, and they do have an affect on you. There have been a lot of lessons learned, and that is one of them."

The pair's pub visit came on the same night Newcastle were being beaten 28-10 by Brisbane in Queensland, again calling into question Ponga's role as club captain.

The 25-year-old admitted on Monday he could sense fan frustration, and that he had spent the off-season reflecting on his leadership responsibilities.

"I shouldn't have been out or anything like that in the first place," Ponga said.

"I do support the boys and they know that. They know how much I support them at all times. I was in the wrong there.

"(I have learned) lots of lessons. A lot of self reflecting.

"Even now, it is probably one of the most pivotal moments of my life.