NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09: Mitchell Pearce of the Knights in the warm up during the round one NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Manly Sea Eagles at McDonald Jones Stadium on March 9, 2018 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Newcastle veteran Mitchell Pearce has been linked to a shock move to Cronulla, where he could potentially reunite with former Roosters teammate and incoming Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon.

As reported by Fox Sports' James Hooper, the Knights are known of a potential incoming attempt by the Sharks to lure the former NSW star to the Shire.

Pearce signed a new one-year deal with the Knights earlier this year that has the 32-year-old contracted to the Hunter Valley until the end of next season.

Should Pearce find himself at his third NRL club with Cronulla, he would once again be playing under the tutelage of Fitzgibbon.

The pair did play together at Bondi before Fitzgibbon moved into the Chooks' coaches box alongside Trent Robinson, with Pearce and the lethal coaching partnership all playing a major role in the club's 2013 premiership success.

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SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES - MARCH 05: Craig Fitzgibbon and Jake Friend share a joke as they walk to a Sydney Roosters NRL training session at Kippax Lake on March 5, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Newcastle are set to welcome Cowboys half Jake Clifford at the conclusion of the 2021 season, and with Pearce able to hold discussions with rival clubs from November there could be greater opportunities elsewhere.

After being edged out by the Broncos for the signature of Rabbitohs half Adam Reynolds and Chad Townsends departure for the Cowboys from 2022, the Sharks are sure to be looking at seasoned options for their halves partnership for next season.

Several halfbacks remain on the market, yet Pearce is one of many others who have either re-signed or found new deals elsewhere for their future.

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NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 29: Mitchell Pearce of the Newcastle Knights looks to pass the ball during the round 15 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Brisbane Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium on June 29, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

At the time of Pearce's new deal, the veteran half said it was an obvious decision to recommit with the Knights.

“There’s been a lot of talk, but I never wanted to go anywhere else,” Pearce said.

“Since coming up here, I’ve been striving hard to achieve what we want to achieve.

“I see myself as a Knight now and I really want to get the job done with the club and the boys up here.

“I’m really grateful for the trust from the club and excited for what’s ahead.”

Parramatta half Mitch Moses is on the verge of a new deal, while Titans playmaker Ash Taylor is facing an uncertain future on the Gold Coast.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Realistically, how many years does Mitchell Pearce have left in the NRL? He’ll be 33 when the 2022 season starts and his best form is probably behind him. I reckon clubs who are hoping for their halfback to reach their mid 30’s and still be at the top of their game are going to be disappointed. Cooper Cronk is the only halfback in recent memory who has been able to do this.
    Cronulla would be better off looking at a younger and cheaper option like Adam Clune IMO.

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