All you need to know ahead of round 17 of the NRL season
The Roosters host Canterbury in round 17 of the NRL on Thursday night, in Pearce's return from a calf injury.
While the lure of French rugby is believed to be a factor in his absence, it's understood the breakdown in his personal relationship is also a factor in him going AWOL.
It would be embarrassing if the Blues failed to win a game in this series, especially when two of the games were played in Sydney.
Parramatta's runaway winger Semi Radradra has finally reached out to his club - and promised to return for Saturday night's match against Cronulla.
Join League HQ's Chris Boulous for all the round 17 NRL teams, rugby league news and best buys in Ultimate League.
Melbourne Storm could hand veteran prop Matt White his club debut for Friday night's clash.
Kieran Foran has been stripped of the club captaincy and issued a breach notice by Parramatta after falling foul of club officials over his rehabilitation.
Parramatta will seek $700,000 in compensation from Semi Radradra – if he requests a release – that will negate what he stands to earn playing rugby union in France.
Canberra Raiders winger Jordan Rapana believes Joey Leilua was right to express frustration over his NSW snub, and is hopeful it won't affect his selection chances for State of Origin III in Sydney.
Josh Papalii is no shrinking violet but even the Maroons hitman admits he wouldn't be capable of emulating Sia Soliola's pain-defying heroics against Gold Coast on Sunday.
Andrew Fifita has thrown his support behind Semi Radradra – and wants to have a look at his own rugby union options at the end of his contract with the Sharks.
Players will be able to nominate two countries they wish to represent under a radical eligibility proposal that would effectively kill off any chance of Canterbury's Morris twins defecting to England.
Semi Radradra's potential divorce from the NRL isn't necessarily about money, according to Parramatta club captain Tim Mannah.
The 35-year-old hooker announced his intention to quit the game on Tuesday, saying the time had come for him to focus on wife Kellie and their two children.
Paul Gallen has hit out at the match review process, suggesting rival Sam Thaiday should have received more than two weeks for a tackle that landed the NSW State of Origin captain on his head.
NRL teams are poised to be denied access to the first advance of more than $1 million each from the game's $1.8 billion broadcast windfall amid renewed hostility with the ARL Commission, which has declared it will withhold the funding until clubs give the green light to new perpetual licence agreements.
Melbourne Storm star Billy Slater continues to aim for a 2017 return despite concerns he may retire from the NRL.
Newcastle forward Robbie Rochow continues to wait for the club to make a revised contract offer beyond this season despite receiving interest from rival teams.
Brett Morris needed all of 80 minutes to prove he has barely missed a beat after nine months out. But he doesn't even have designs on the Bulldogs No.1 jumper - let alone a State of Origin berth.