After all the speculation, Mitchell Pearce will not be the Newcastle Knights skipper come the 2021 season. This is his decision and I’m glad it was on his terms. He was a very good captain for us in his first three years with the Knights.
I stand by saying he was the right choice at the time, but now, he should relinquish the role to one of the younger Knights. As halfback, Mitchell Pearce is already the on-field general. It’s no secret generals gather in their masses, they lead the soldiers and they makes the orders.
Blake Green has been the leading tip to be skipper, but I can’t see it. Here are three candidates who could take the role.
The towering prop has been the forward pack leader for the Newcastle Knights, especially in the 2020 season, his teamwork with David Klemmer was very effective. His on-field leadership has also been very evident – whenever he has the ball, he doesn’t just aim to run; he aims to tear through the defence and that’s the attitude that proves his value.
Klemmer has been very effective ever since his transition from Canterbury to Newcastle. The drive he brings every time he’s on tends to pave the way for the backs to do their work. In the Knights’ six-match winning streak in 2019, he was among the best of the team.
Mitchell Barnett has got a very decent combination of power, speed, aggression and mongrel needed for a Knights player. A stand-out forward who knows how to bring the aggression to the field, not just for himself, but also his teammates. The leadership he shows is second to none and my pick for who should be our next skipper.
When it comes down to Mitchell Pearce, I began questioning his captaincy after Newcastle got thrashed in the finals against South Sydney. He’s been brilliant for us as a halfback and captain, but he needed to step down as skipper and it could be best for both him and whoever will receive the honour.
He will always be known as the key element for our team in the final stages of the rebuild in 2018. I really do hope he finishes his career in Newcastle. Being a Knight has been brilliant for him and he’s shown the same brilliance right back to the fans. He deserves to be well-known as a player, not an off-field bad boy.
Roarers, I’ve said my bit and now it’s your turn.
Was it the right decision for Mitchell Pearce to relinquish the captaincy?
Who should take the honours now?