Reports of Mitchell Pearce’s alleged ‘flirty’ texts with a Newcastle Knights employee have given the NRL star more headaches than just his postponed wedding.
Pearce’s wedding to fiancee Kristin Scott in Byron Bay was put on ice earlier in the week, with the reason allegedly the discovery of his raunchy messages to the employee, something the Knights star vehemently denied when asked by the Daily Telegraph.
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The 31-year-old told the newspaper that wedding had not been cancelled but rather “postponed” and said he was “filthy about people spreading rumours”.
“It’s COVID mate … and it’s private,” Pearce said.
“We’re sorting things out. It’s a really stressful time for us. It’s our business, no-one else’s.”
Despite the denials, Telegraph reporter Buzz Rothfield has since published a follow-up report, suggesting the alleged messages have carried consequences beyond Pearce’s postponed nuptials.
According to the veteran reporter, several of Pearce’s teammates are privately furious about their captain’s behaviour.
Many of them are close friends with the female employee Pearce had been corresponding with, leading to questions over Pearce’s suitability as captain and indeed, his future with the Knights.
Pearce has one year remaining on his current deal with the Knights, worth $1M a season, but has been in a stalemate with the club over a potential two-year extension.
Pearce hoping to extend stay at Newcastle
The off-contract Pearce has declared he wants to stay at the Knights beyond the end of next season, with negotiations ongoing with the club.
The 31-year-old premiership-winning halfback had hoped a deal would be finalised before Christmas.
"The process is underway, I'm happy where it's all at. I'm having open conversation with the club," he said earlier in December.
"I love it here (in Newcastle).
"There's obviously a process you've got to go through to work out where everything ends up but I love the club here and I want to stay here."
The Knights are also eager to lock up their star half who has spent the past three seasons with the club after a switch from the Sydney Roosters.
After coming on the open market on November 1, Pearce has been linked with a return to the Roosters, with other NRL rivals also interested.
However, his preference is to stay in Newcastle and lead the club to an elusive premiership after a disappointing finish to the 2020 season.
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