Mitchell Pearce arrived in Newcastle this morning, greeting his Knights teammates, and started training for the first time since his well-publicised departure from the Roosters.

Ending a 10-year association with the Roosters, the much-maligned playmaker was criticised by numerous rugby league veterans – who were critical of his decision to join the wooden spooners, fearing that his career could come to an unpleasant halt.

Pearce particularly responded to Paul Gallen in his first press conference in Knights colours, ‘fearing’ for Pearce’s game and by extension, his future NSW chances.

Questioned whether he sees himself in Origin contention in the near future, Pearce claims that he’s primarily motivated by his own happiness. If he can manage to get the best out of himself, then perhaps he could get back to the pinnacle of rugby league.

“That wasn’t the main focus of my decision,” he said.

“The main focus of my decision was firstly happiness, a new opportunity and a new challenge.

“That’s what motivates me the most at this point in my career and that’s why I’m standing here.

“I wanted to come here and be a part of this club and what they’re building.

“All that other stuff takes care of itself if you’re being the best person you can every day.”

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Asked whether Gallen was filthy after Pearce rejected an offer from Cronulla, Pearce giggled: “Maybe a little bit.”.

After Pearce’s interview with Nathan Brown, he immediately phoned his father, former Balmain great Wayne Pearce, to inform him of the decision to be apart of their promising rebuild.

“As soon as I came to Newcastle, I called dad on the way home and said there’s something special, the club’s building to a really good place,” Pearce said.

“I see myself at a point in my career where I’m excited to take that leadership role.

“They’ve taken some hits the last couple of years and built some real resilience. I can hopefully bring a bit of experience.”

Pearce is sympathetic to the Knight’s young playing group, enduring three consecutive wooden spoons, before their time. Pearce hopes that they can learn of the 28-year old, who was thrown into first-grade at the age of 17, before being selected for representative football several years later.

“They’ve come in and had to learn the hard way,” he said.

“You naturally build a resilience by doing that.

“The first thing I noticed when coming into training today was there is a mad buzz around.

“It’s a similar feeling to what I had at the Roosters. There’s a family feeling here.

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“And it seems like there’s no fear.

“It’s a recipe for success.”


  1. Knights will be a very good side in 2018, although I wonder where Cogger, Lamb and Hodkinson will end up in the coming months. Cogger might wait a year, but whoever gets Lamb will be a very lucky team and Hodkinson will still be reliable for any team who gets him.

    1. Ponga
    2. Ross
    3. Moga
    4. Mata’utia
    5. Kenny-Dowall
    6. Watson
    7. Pearce
    8. Saifiti
    9. Levi
    10. Ese’ese
    11. Fitzgibbons
    12. Guerra
    13. Barnett

    14. Buhrer
    15. Lillyman
    16. Saifiti
    17. Heighington

  2. Can we know call Pearce “Happy Gilmore” . . .
    I dont blame him for opting out of the Roosters but i think he would have learnt more from Cronk.
    Good luck to Newy, its been a hard slog since having 3 spoons in a row.

  3. Sorry Pearcey not fooling anyone on ZT with that drivel buddy. Happiness for you is away from the fish bowl of Sydney where you can enjoy your sniff sniff etc in peace. Not to mention the occasional pooch or two 😉

    I’m sorry Pearcey I jest!

    The funny thing I found in this article is, here we have a name “Pearce” going to a club where MOST of the players there have gotten to where they are in rugby league on the back of hard work and dedication. What’s this buffoon going to teach a hard working team I wonder? Oh that’s it! My last name “Pearce” got me my rugby league break at 17? That my last name “Pearce” has given me many I’ll fated attempts at SOO level? My last name “Peace” has allowed me to get away with alot of public indiscretions?

    Moral of his inspiration at the Knights provided by Pearcey will be that if you have a last name professional rugby league is given to you on a silver platter? Oh and not to forget many millions in your bank account?

    That’s why I am here Knights to enjoy my happiness! I.e Millions in the bank and indiscretions away from the Sydney spotlight. Because my last name is “Pearce” and I can 😀🤣

  4. WestTigerNation I do argee with your team except put Heightington as 18th man put slash griffen as 14 and Buhrer as 15 e.g.

    14. Griffen
    15. Buhrer
    16. Lillyman
    17. Saifiti
    18. Heighington
    19. Lamb

  5. 1: K Ponga
    2: N Ross
    3: S Kenny Dowell
    4: Moga
    5: K Sio
    6: B Lamb
    7: M Pearce
    8: Ese ese
    9: C Watson
    10: Saifiti
    11: S Mata’utia
    12: Guerra
    13: J Buhrer

    14: M Barnett
    15: D Levi
    16: Saifiti
    17: J Lillyman

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