In a huge boost for a side that has a very young core, the Newcastle Knights have signed experienced half Mitchell Pearce on a 4-year deal.
After the off-field saga and drama that saw Pearce disappointed in his former club the Sydney Roosters when they signed Cooper Cronk, Pearce now has his new club to worry about, a signing that will boost the Novocastrian side.
Still only 28, Pearce has played in 238 NRL games and 17 State of Origin matches and can guide the likes of Kalyn Ponga and Connor Watson.
“This is wonderful news for the Club and for all of our Members and supporters,” General Manager Football Darren Mooney said.
“Mitchell is committed to our Club’s rebuild and wants to be here for the long-term.
“He brings experience and leadership, and without doubt, he will complement our young squad.”
With the chance to lead from the front and guide the Knights forward, coach Nathan Brown knows just how much of an impact Pearce will have on the team both on and off the field.
“Mitch will play an important role in the development of our young halves and will also be influential in the overall growth of our side,” Brown said.
“Mitch has an exceptional kicking game and is a great competitor.
“He has some big game experience and I know he comes here wanting to be a leader.”
Pearce will begin pre-season training with the Knights on Monday and is excited to get stuck in at his new club.
“I see a group of guys working hard and on the way up and I want to be part of making this team strong again for the town,” Pearce said.
“I am passionate about helping and leading the young players at the Club.
“From the moment I spoke to Nathan (Brown) and Darren (Mooney) about where the Club is heading, I knew this is where I wanted to be.
“I can’t wait to get stuck in and start with the guys on Monday.”