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Reports: NRL side considered shock move for retired Super League star

Former NRL champion Mitchell Pearce playing for Catalans Dragons

Former NRL and Catalans Dragons star Mitchell Pearce could have made a shock return to the sport, according to Australian media.

The 34-year-old played 41 Super League games for the Dragons, scoring 14 tries, helping them to the Grand Final in 2o23.

He also won the NRL Premiership with Sydney Roosters, where he played over 200 games.

After leaving the Roosters, he signed for Newcastle Knights, where he played for four seasons, before making the switch to Super League.

He represented New South Wales nineteen times, and was also in the NRL All Stars team in 2015.

He announced his retirement towards the end of the 2023 season, with the Grand Final his last game as a player.

A new report from the Australian Daily Telegraph has suggested that Parramatta Eels were urged by a ‘mystery third-party’ to attempt to lure Pearce out of retirement, to replace injured half-back Mitchell Moses.

Parramatta Eels general manager of football, Mark O’Neill, discussed the prospect of signing Pearce, with head coach Brad Arthur.

Having injured his foot in a match against Manly Sea Eagles last week, Moses could be out for up to three months.

The Eels never formally approached Pearce, and instead brought Blaize Talagi into the side.

He made his debut in the centres, but the young talent will now be shifted to the stand-off position.

Former St Helens, England and Great Britain prop James Graham told Triple M: “For Mitch, he’d be mad to come back and play.

“Imagine him coming back and the media scrutiny, the pressure. It would be a huge story.

“Could he cope with it? Absolutely, yes. But does he want to put himself and his family through that again?

“I’d be amazed if he came back.”

It’s likely that he would have rejected interest anyway, as he has told friends he’s retired.

However, the mystery of who the third-party is continues.

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