Mitchell Pearce is set to squander the captaincy at Newcastle Knights after a text messaging scandal with a staff member led to the postponement of his wedding.
Whilst the rest of the NRL came back to business on Monday following the Christmas break, for Newcastle, the issue was at the forefront of their return.
Newcastle’s general manager of football, Danny Buderus, took the floor to speak about the incident.
“It definitely needs to be addressed, there’s no doubt about that, when he comes back, otherwise it will fester in amongst the group,” Buderus said.
“To be honest, I think Mitch would like it that way. Anyone that walks into that group needs to understand what they’ve all gone through and what the club has gone through and the pressure the club has been under … there needs to be something said and once it’s said, we can all move on.”
Buderus also suggested that the playmaker’s captaincy would likely be looked at and that this was something that would have been analysed even without the texting scandal’s occurrence.
“Maybe that was going to be part of the leadership model moving forward anyway, with getting that pressure off Mitchell to play his own game,” Buderus said.
“I’m sure for Mitchell, he likes to be captain and if it was to go that way, it would hurt. It’s one of those things that could happen but there are a variety of things that could happen as well.
“The leadership program and how we roll it out is very important here at the club and we want to take our time with that. It was always going to be – even if this incident hadn’t occurred – looked at.”