Leaving Roosters right call for me: Pearce

Nov 20, 2017 - 7:06 AM Mitchell Pearce insists leaving the Sydney Roosters is the best decision for his NRL career as he seeks to become "the best halfback I can be."

The Roosters on Monday ended weeks of speculation around Pearce's future by granting their long-time halfback a release from the final two years of his contract.

The move comes two weeks after the Roosters lured Kangaroos star Cooper Cronk on a two-year deal to be their new halfback, and days after Pearce's return from an overseas holiday.

Pearce's exit also came less than an hour after Manly announced the immediate release of veteran playmaker Blake Green, who is widely tipped to join the Warriors on a three-year deal.

The 28-year-old Pearce has played all 238 of his NRL games so far for the Tricolours.

"Obviously, this hasn't been an easy decision for me to come to, but I feel that it's the right one," Pearce said in a statement on Monday.

"I've been with the Roosters since I was 17 and have grown into a man here. I've made a lot of close friends at the club, and I've always been proud to wear the Roosters jersey."

It is understood Pearce and his management have yet to officially open talks with any clubs, with the playmaker hinting it could be weeks until he reveals his new home.

Under NRL guidelines, the incumbent NSW State of Origin halfback wasn't allowed to negotiate with rivals with more than one year on his current deal.

But with Blake's departure at Manly the Sea Eagles would loom as early favourite for his services with Cronulla and Newcastle also potential suitors.

"The Roosters club and people there will always mean a lot to me," Pearce said.

"But I'm looking forward to the opportunity and challenge joining a new club will bring, while continuing to push myself to be the best halfback I can be.

"Now that I've made this decision, hopefully I'll have the rest of my future sorted over the next few weeks."

Roosters chairman Nick Polities is adamant the club wanted to keep Pearce in the squad.

"Mitchell has been a big part of the Sydney Roosters club for more than a decade. He's played 11 seasons of NRL and is among the most-capped players in our club's history," Politis said.

"We all love Pearcey - he has developed very strong relationships with a number of people at the club and we have been through a lot together.

"While it would have been great to see him continue to add to his legacy at the Roosters, we respect his decision."

Roosters coach Trent Robinson also thanked Pearce for his long service.

"We've been through a lot and I have a lot of respect for Junior (Pearce) both as a footballer and as a man," said Robinson.

"I'd personally like to thank Pearcey for the role he's played at the Roosters.

"He's a good person who will always have many friends at the club, and I know I speak on behalf of everyone in wishing him all the very best."

Source: AAP

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