With all the rumours and connections linking them to the likes of Sonny Bill Williams and Quade Cooper, retaining other players may go unnoticed – but for new Roosters boss Brian Canavan, one of his main priorities is to make halfback Mitchell Pearce, a Rooster for life.
Canavan answered some of the tougher questions, said that one of the club’s primary priorities was re-signing Pearce, who is off-contract at the end of next season.
“I see him here for his whole career,” Canavan said.
“I will do everything in my work capacity to ensure that happens. Mitchell will obviously be a 300-plus game player. He has all the attributes of his dad as a player. He is very, very important to this club.
“Mitchell and I go way back. He was on scholarship to us in my time here.
“We already have an existing relationship.”
With Pearce previously linked to the Bulldogs and the Dragons for differing reasons – when it comes to SBW, Canavan said that he has not discussed anything of that nature with Chairman Nick Politis.
“I honestly don’t know where that one is at,” Canavan said.
“I haven’t seen any budgets, players lists, salary caps. My view is we would love to have him in rugby league. Now that I am back at the Roosters we would love to have him here.”
When it comes to Quade Cooper, Canavan’s reply was blunt.
“Quade’s never been mentioned. He is not on the radar at all.”
With Politis a figure who sometimes likes to get involved in football matters, Canavan says he has no problem in telling Politis that that is not his go.
“Of course I will.””At the end of the day he’s a good fella. He defines passion. It must be a bit of a release valve for him from his business pressures.
“He is quite a private man, as we know. But he has a lot of care and concern for people. He has really good business feel and business empathy.
“What he is trying to do is get this club stabilised going forward because it has slipped. They came 13th and they shouldn’t have. From what I saw they were a borderline top-eight side last year.”