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18 Mar 2018 13:29
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Pearce's investment in leadership pays off

    Mitchell Pearce is ready to lead Newcastle's NRL turnaround after his stunning rise at the club saw him named co-captain alongside Jamie Buhrer for 2018.

    - article from

    Leadership tempted Mitchell Pearce to Newcastle and he will now have the chance to deliver on it after being named the club's co-captain alongside Jamie Buhrer.

    Pearce, left disappointed by the Sydney Roosters' signing of Cooper Cronk just four months ago, completed his stunning off-field rise at the Knights when he was handed the co-captaincy at the club's season launch on Friday night.

    Previously a co-captain at the Roosters in 2015, the NSW State of Origin halfback now appears a different man at age 28 having found a home at the Knights.

    "A big reason why I came here and why the club wanted me to come here and the other players is through leadership," Pearce said.

    "And I've been trying to invest in that as much as I can and help around with the standards.

    "And now I'm co-captain my focus in that role I'll try and do my best and keep improving that area."

    Pearce only arrived in Newcastle in December but his impact alongside eight other front-line recruits has been immediate.

    The Knights have already booked out out each of their corporate boxes at McDonald Jones Stadium for the season, while chief executive Phil Gardner is already eying off potential waiting lists for sold-out season memberships in the coming years.

    Pearce himself called for patience this week amongst Knights fans, just days after Nathan Brown admitted the team had perhaps been overhyped in the pre-season after three consecutive wooden spoons.

    Either way the playmaker has already shown he is desperate to help turn the club around and return it to the kind of regular finals appearances he became used to at the Roosters.

    "We're building something really good I think. It all comes down to results. It's going to be a big couple of years and I see heaps of upside," Pearce said.

    "From day one when I got here, it felt right. That's why I wanted to be a part of the Knights.

    "And since I have been here I have been blown away with how good of a club it is run inside from the staff to the players.

    "To get named co-captain, I've not been here too long. That respect means the world to me."

    Buhrer's return to the co-captaincy comes after he was also named among the leadership group in his first season at the club last year.

    "Mitchell is our real on-the-field leader, so we thought that combination works well, as Jamie doesn't play the whole game, all of the time," Brown said.

    "Jamie is someone that sets the standards and someone that challenges other people to do the right thing and, with Mitchell's on-field leadership, that combination is the best way to go."


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