NRL news 2023 | Sydney Roosters premiership winner Mitchell Pearce announces retirement from rugby league

The premiership winning career of Mitchell Pearce will come to and end after the 34-year-old announced his impending retirement from rugby league.

Pearce, who has played for Catalans Dragons in the Super League this year, announced the decision on social media after “nearly 18 years” in the game.

“Hey guys – I’ve decided that this season will be my last in rugby league,” he wrote in a lengthy Instagram caption which accompanied various photos from his storied career.

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“What a journey it’s been. I finish the game knowing I have given every bit of my heart and soul for nearly 18 years.

“I’ve had some amazing times and leave the game with friends I know I’ll have for the rest of my life. I still have a job to do with Catalans Dragons and I’m all in to go after that trophy and make history for French Rugby League.”

Catalans are currently second on the ladder in the Super League, but equal on points to first-placed Wigan and St Helens in third.

Since heading to the Super League in 2022, after playing for the Roosters and Newcastle Knights, Pearce has been subject to rumours of an NRL return.

Former Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens confirmed during the 2023 season that the club had a conversation with the halfback, however he rejected them.

The Roosters were also rumoured to be interested but that was denied by coach Trent Robinson.

Pearce played 238 games at the Roosters and won the 2013 grand final. At the end of 2017, the halfback was released to the Knights after the Tricolours signed Cooper Cronk.

After a long State of Origin career with the Blues, Pearce was part of the 2019 side that won the series, his first victory from eight attempts. 

The halfback also courted controversy throughout his career, fined $20,000 and suspended for one game in 2014 following an incident at a Kings Cross nightclub.

In 2016, he was captured simulating sex with a dog with the NRL fining him $125,000 with $50,000 suspended for two years, along with an eight-game ban. In the years since the incident, the NRL has been criticised for hanging out such a lengthy punishment.


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