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Au revoir: Knights grant Pearce release

(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)
14th November, 2021
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Mitchell Pearce has likely finished his time in the NRL after Newcastle finally granted the premiership-winning halfback a release on Monday.

As expected, the 32-year-old will join English Super League club Catalans Dragons in 2022 after being released from the final year of his Knights contract.

While Catalans are yet to confirm the length of Pearce’s deal, it’s been reported that he will head to Perpignan in France on a rich three-year agreement.

“Pearce requested a release from the final year of his current contract in late October, with both parties working through the process, making it effective immediately,” read a Newcastle statement.

“The Knights would like to thank Mitchell for his significant contribution since joining the club in 2017, celebrating many highlights including 300 NRL games and back-to-back finals series.

“The club wishes Mitchell all the very best for his future.”

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There are several candidates to fill the void left by Pearce as Jake Clifford’s halves partner including new recruit and former Dragon Adam Clune.

Phoenix Crossland, Tex Hoy, Kurt Mann and Simi Sasagi can also play five-eighth. Meanwhile, the Knights continue to be linked to Wests Tigers general Luke Brooks despite the Concord club’s insistence that he’ll stay put.

Pearce, who signed an ultimately redundant one-year extension at Newcastle earlier this year, struggled with injury – including a pectoral problem – and was limited to 12 games in 2021.

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A 2013 title winner and 238-gamer at the Roosters, as well as a 19-time NSW Origin representative, Pearce’s final match in NRL may have been September’s 28-20 qualifying final loss to Parramatta.

He has played 309 matches since debuting as a teenager in 2007.

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