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NRL: Pearce opens up on Knights exit

Mitchell Pearce says he needed to leave the Newcastle Knights and embark on a fresh challenge in France after completing his move to the Catalans Dragons.

The Knights are priced at 22/1 to win the 2022 NRL grand final but they take on the new campaign without the experienced playmaker following his decision to head to the English Super League.

Fresh start

Pearce had a tough 2021 which saw him miss a large chunk of the season through injury while he also went through a well-publicised break up with his fiance months before they were due to get married.

So when the chance to join Dragons coach Steve McNamara at Catalans came along he was keen to join him despite having one year remaining on his Knights deal.

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Pearce knew McNamara well from their time together at the Sydney Roosters so he was relieved when the Knights agreed to release him from his deal.

Grateful for the chance

"I had a break up last year with my ex-fiancee, so it was a bit of a tough year and that was one reason," Pearce said at his first press conference as a Catalans player.

"It was something different when Steve and the club approached me. It opened my curiosity. Something was stimulating me about coming overseas.

"I had one more season at Newcastle but the opportunity to come over here for a couple of years presented a new challenge, a new environment and a chance to get out of the same bubble that I'd been in for a long time in the NRL.

"Something inside me was stimulated by that. I can't exactly explain it but the more I dived into it, it felt right and, since coming over here, I'm really grateful I've taken it.

"It's been a breath of fresh air and I'm really motivated for the next couple of years. I couldn't feel more comfortable."

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