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Pearce could assume Roosters' captaincy

Mitchell Pearce could emerge as Sydney Roosters' long-term captain next year, as long as he puts his off field distractions behind him, according to new coach Trent Robinson.
Pearce could assume Roosters' captaincy
by NRL

By James MacSmith

SYDNEY, Oct 23 AAP - Mitchell Pearce could emerge as Sydney Roosters' long-term captain next year, as long as he puts his off field distractions behind him, according to new coach Trent Robinson.

Pearce endured an inconsistent season on the field this year with his reported playboy antics and rift with former coach Brian Smith often cited as reasons why the NSW halfback did not reach the heights expected of him in the NRL.

But with a sharper focus on and off the field in 2013 and a better support network around him at the Roosters, Robinson said Pearce could succeed Wests Tigers-bound Braith Anasta as skipper and lead the club for a number of years.

"We have a halfback that is a natural leader on the field," Robinson told reporters on Tuesday.

"I have a lot of faith in Mitchell in the way he plays the game and he leads us when he is on the field.

"A part of that has to be off the field as well and I'm hoping to see that in Mitchell."

Pearce's off field exploits drew almost as much attention as his on-field efforts in 2012 and Robinson acknowledged his star playmaker needed to clean up his act away from football.

He was the Roosters' leading tryscorer last season and former Catalans coach Robinson, who took the reins of the Roosters last month, said some of the criticism of the 23-year-old's performances was unwarranted.

"Pearcey is already leading," he said.

"I think we have been a bit hard on him about not leading already on on the field, he does that. I think with a bit of support around him and also with the way that we want to train I'm hoping that he will become maybe a potential captain."

Robinson said he would consider using co-captains for the first time in the club's 106-year history and that veteran Anthony Minichiello was another strong contender for a leadership role.

"I'm not against it. I have used it before and I think it develops players and it develops a strong group," Robinson said.

"I'm not saying I am going to go that way but I am definitely not fixed on one captain either.

"Mini has been here for a while and he has done the job at Australia and NSW level, but I also want to see some other guys come through in training over the next few months."


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