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Mitchell Pearce - Contract Situation

PhilGould

Juniors
Messages
2,097
Can you paste in the article?
Luke Brooks has emerged as Newcastle’s lead target to replace Mitchell Pearce.

Proving just how unrelenting and fast-moving NRL roster management is, the Knights are aware of Pearce’s motivation to farewell the club for Catalans which has prompted the club to begin assessing a solution.

Pearce is poised to ask the Knights for a release from his 2022 contract so that he can move to France and play with Catalans in the English Super League for the next three years.

Brooks, the Wests Tigers 2021 Player of the Year, is the halfback who the Knights believe has the skillset to help drive the club to it’s first premiership in 21 years.

Ironically, it was in Brooks’ first season of NRL, that commentators said he had a similar playing style to Newcastle legend and rugby league immortal Andrew Johns.

The Knights will free-up $600,000 in their salary cap by releasing Pearce.

Newcastle have the option of running with Jake Clifford and Kalyn Ponga in the halves in 2022. Adam Clune, Kurt Mann, Phoenix Crossland and Simi Sasagi can also play in the halves.

However, the pursuit of Brooks would allow the club to leave the freakish Ponga at fullback.

A major factor in any hope the Knights have of tempting Brooks is the fact that the 2018 Dally M Halfback of the Year is managed by the same agent, Isaac Moses, as Newcastle coach Adam O’Brien.

Moses’ agency also manages Knights players David Klemmer, Suasao Sue, Kurt Mann, Hymel Hunt and Enari Tuala.

News Corp spoke to Tigers officials about Brooks’ future on Saturday. The Tigers had a clear message of “hands off” their halfback, who is contracted to the club until the end of 2023.

It’s not the first time the Tigers have had to defend themselves from the posturing of rival clubs towards Brooks.

Tigers management recently swatted away the Raiders interest in Brooks – before Canberra moved onto signing Titans halfback Jamal Fogarty.

A major reason why the Tigers won’t entertain letting Brooks go is due to their stressed depth chart of halves.

Influential five-eighth Adam Doueihi is expected to be out until May after undergoing the second ACL knee reconstruction of his career.

The Tigers are planning on starting the season with Jackson Hastings, signed from the UK Super League, alongside Brooks. Halfback Jock Madden, 21, is next in line.

Since making his debut with the Tigers in 2013, Brooks has never played finals football. He is the only halfback since 1980 without a finals match to his name.

Brooks would need to weigh up between the Knights and Tigers where he believes his best chance is to make the top eight – and also, which club is closer to winning a premiership.

Before that though, Pearce needs to land his release from the Knights – the full stop on his NRL career.

Pearce, 32, believes that after 15 years of first grade his body is no longer up to the rigours of week-to-week NRL football.

Pearce managed 12 matches in 2021, his season blunted by a torn pectoral that sidelined him between rounds five and 14.

It’s understood the Newcastle hierarchy are comfortable with letting Pearce go.

Management were disappointed in the veteran halfback’s below-par performance when it mattered most – in their week one 28-20 finals loss to the Eels.

As first revealed by The Daily Telegraph last August, Catalans want Pearce to replace champion half James Maloney, who retired following the Super League grand final a fortnight ago.

Maloney and Sam Moa – who won the 2013 grand-final with Pearce at the Roosters and both of whom spent several seasons with Catalans – have been major conduits to the pursuit of the 309-game premiership-winner.
 

PhilGould

Juniors
Messages
2,097
Think he has a higher upside than running with Clune or Crossland as a first choice, and is a better player than any of the current halves looking for a club (Norman, Lewis, Flanagan). As long as it's not big money or long-term I'll be able to talk myself into it.

There are still games where he looks like a quality player. Change of scenery may help, won't hold my breath though.
 

Burwood

Bench
Messages
4,223
Is it time for Hooper to start frothing at the mouth over Isaac Moses’ influence at the club again?
 

Yosh

First Grade
Messages
9,122
Joisus... I hope Brooks stays contracted till 2023. He might be slightly better than what we have now but he will demand astronomical wages.

I'm all for Ponga to six to get him to actually play 80 minutes of footy and not 8 a game.
 

Jono078

Coach
Messages
17,585
First impression is f**k no. I believe the Tigers need to move on from him to really rebuild there.

A change of scenery may be good for him but PhilGould said, I won't hold my breath.

I'm ok if he comes here on the cheap and a chance is all that's guaranteed.
 

Old dog

Juniors
Messages
1,601
Look at what is available, not much, if Brooks is available for 2023 then I say go for it as he is best available and is better than Clune and Crosslands. No guarantees Ponga would be any better at 6 than 1 but he can have 2022 to have a real go. No good complaining if no other option is available. Brooks will be as good or better than Pearce in 2021, younger and faster.
 

Choppy91

Juniors
Messages
32
Think he has a higher upside than running with Clune or Crossland as a first choice, and is a better player than any of the current halves looking for a club (Norman, Lewis, Flanagan). As long as it's not big money or long-term I'll be able to talk myself into it.

There are still games where he looks like a quality player. Change of scenery may help, won't hold my breath though.
He was the Tigers player of the year after all 🤣
 

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