Mitchell Pearce

Scandal fallout 'traumatic' for Newcastle Knights star Mitchell Pearce

The 31-year-old's decision to relinquish the role came in the wake of a text messaging scandal involving a Knights employee.

After a meeting with club staff, Pearce told the Knights' playing group of his decision on Wednesday before their return to pre-season training on Thursday.

The former NSW State of Origin halfback read a written statement to reporters at a media conference on Thursday, the first time he has spoken publicly since his wedding to fiancée Kristen Scott was called off last month.

Mitchell Pearce set to lose Knights captaincy over text scandal

The 31-year-old halfback is set to rejoin the group for pre-season training at the end of the week where he's expected to address teammates to apologise in an attempt to move on.

However, the situation is made even more complicated with Knights second-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon, a close friend of the partner of the staff member who exchanged texts with Pearce.

On day one of the 2021 pre-season, general manager of football Danny Buderus said Pearce's conduct was unacceptable and confirmed the leadership of the team was under review.

Newcastle star Mitchell Pearce's wedding cancelled amid flirty text allegations

Pearce was due to be married on Tuesday to partner Kristin Scott in Byron Bay, but a report in the Daily Telegraph, which has been confirmed by the Sydney Morning Herald, revealed the wedding has now been called off.

The matter has been reported to Knights management, but no complaints have come from inside the club.

Some of the guests on the list of 150 were informed as late as Christmas Eve that the wedding had been cancelled. A number of big-name players, including Kieran Foran, had been invited to the wedding.

Pearce set for long stint on sidelines

Pearce left the field inside the final five minutes, with Jamie Buhrer filling in at halfback and placing a kick that resulted in the match-winning try to winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

Brown indicated post-game scans were set to confirm the extent of the injury but said it didn't look good.

The Knights coach also cleared any confusion during the game by confirming Pearce was replaced by Luke Yates as a free interchange - with Yates able to return to the field after passing a HIA examination.

Maloney expects Origin intensity in Pearce v Cronk battle

No stranger to taking on former sides after stints with the Sydney Roosters, Cronulla Sharks, Melbourne Storm and Warriors, he believes Pearce and Newcastle Knights teammates Connor Watson, Aidan Guerra and Shaun Kenny-Dowall will be out to prove a point against their old club, the Sydney Roosters.

The exit of Pearce, in particular, left Roosters fans with mixed opinions over the treatment of their long-serving players as he made way for Australian international Cooper Cronk after 12 seasons in the red, white and blue.

Mitchell Pearce's contract dependent on taking Newcastle Knights to NRL finals

Such was the demand for his services, Pearce could have named his price and virtually demanded a guaranteed fee to join the wooden-spooners.

Instead, he had financial incentives written into his contract that will reward him if the club reaches the top eight and the top four.

Reportedly on a deal worth more than $4 million over four years, Wests Group boss and Knights CEO Phil Gardner confirmed Pearce has backed himself to lead the club's revival after three consecutive wooden spoons.

Pearce could rue Roosters exit: Thurston

Thurston admitted the Roosters' decision to sign Cronk for two NRL seasons was "harsh" on Pearce, but said the 28-year-old was forgoing a golden chance to complete his skill set.

Cronk understands Pearce disappointment

As Pearce jetted out to the United States on a three-week holiday on Tuesday, Cronk fronted a large media contingency in Canberra ahead of Friday's World Cup game against France to discuss his decision to link with the Tricolours.

Sterling urges Pearce to leave Roosters

Cronk said he hopes Pearce remains at Bondi Junction and believes Roosters coach Trent Robinson can successfully deploy three representative halves in 2018, with Cronk, Pearce and Luke Keary all playing in the same side.

The two men who can give Queensland the blues

Hayne is undoubtedly one of the game's most damaging stars and has shown flashes of brilliance throughout the series, including a try in each of the first two Origins.  

However, his final 20 minutes in the Game Two loss at ANZ Stadium left some questioning whether he should be retained for the July 12 decider after Hayne came up with a couple of errors, including a shocking behind-the-back flick pass that let Queensland off the hook just when the Blues were going in for the kill.