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Mitchell Pearce faces ban regardless of police charge

NSW Origin halfback Mitchell Pearce may  be banned by the NRL even if he escapes a police charge over an incident that led to his arrest at a Kings Cross nightspot on the weekend.

Pearce’s lawyer issued a statement on Monday denying the Sydney Roosters star had done anything wrong but Blues officials are understood to be considering possible replacements for Origin I in case he receives a suspension of more than one match from the NRL, with South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds the favourite.

Footage obtained by Channel Nine and aired on Monday night’s news bulletin suggested a female patron had become agitated when Pearce moved toward her from his seat at the Beach Haus as she walked past him at about 1.30am on Sunday. The woman, who was wearing a bright yellow dress with a split up the side, then approached uniformed police who were in the venue at the time and pointed out Pearce to them. He was then asked to leave but allegedly refused and was handcuffed by police before being escorted from the establishment in Kellett Street.

It is alleged that Pearce began laughing before he was thrown out.

Pearce’s legal representatives responded to the video footage with the following statement:  ‘‘There has been speculation and innuendo in the media that creates an impression that our client had an inappropriate interaction with a female patron at a nightclub over the weekend. That speculation is false’’.


Police are wanting to speak to the woman in the yellow dress but unless she makes a formal complaint against Pearce it is unlikely he would face any charge.

However, the NRL is still considering disciplinary action and the integrity unit is investigating.

An NRL spokesman said they were continuing to monitor the matter involving Pearce. The spokesman said the Roosters had advised the integrity unit about the matter. “The police investigations are ongoing and  we will continue to monitor the situation,” the spokesman said. 

Images on social media surfaced of Jared Wearea-Hargreaves at the  nightspot, while Pearce and NSW teammate Boyd Cordner were ejected from the Clovelly Hotel earlier on Saturday night before heading to Kings Cross. Fairfax Media has been told that Cordner was only evicted after pleading with security to allow Pearce to stay.  It is also thought  Pearce joined teammates at another establishment outside the Cross after his arrest. The Roosters players had earlier watched the club’s under-18s team win the SG Ball grand final at Leichhardt Oval.

Pearce joined his Roosters teammates at training on Monday. The closed session resembled the build up to a grand final with the Roosters switching their ball work session from the normal training base – the easily accessible Kippax Oval outside the Moore Park precinct – to inside Allianz Stadium. They cancelled their regular team breakfast at a nearby cafe and instead had the meal delivered to their offices.

With media helicopters soaring above head, the Roosters were put through more than a hour on the field, with Pearce captured walking from Roosters headquarters to inside their home ground.

He was among the last to make his way back from the ground, and walked side by side with Roosters coach Trent Robinson. Pearce emerged some time later walking by himself back into the stadium.

If the Roosters were looking at drawing attention away from themselves, some of their players did little to prevent that. They were at times childish, yahooing at the waiting media, chanting and at one point held up a helmet from within their club offices.