Rugby League

ANALYSIS

Why Mitchell Pearce's dog act couldn't have come at a worse time for the Sydney Roosters

Mitchell Pearce's dog act couldn't have come at a worse time for the Roosters.

What does Mitchell Pearce's lewd act says about the NRL's culture of entitlement?
What does Mitchell Pearce's lewd act says about the NRL's culture of entitlement?  Photo: Getty Images

The glamour club was already bracing for a halves shake-up  following the departure of James Maloney to Cronulla. Now, Jackson Hastings may not be the only youngster asked to fill the breach.

A club without a CEO or a COO following the departure of respected administrator Brian Canavan to the Gold Coast Titans is desperate for leadership on and off the park.

Mitchell Pearce has been stood down from training pending an investigation into a video shot on Australia Day.
Mitchell Pearce has been stood down from training pending an investigation into a video shot on Australia Day. Photo: Diimex

Their most potent outside back, Michael Jennings, was being paraded by his new side Parramatta on Wednesday as details of Pearce's latest indiscretion were coming to light.

The Roosters may stand Pearce down, knowing their hand could be forced by the NRL's integrity unit if they don't.

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It could result in the club fielding a totally different spine to the one that landed three minor premierships and one major one.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, the brilliant Kiwi fullback who ran for more metres last season than any other man in history, has already taken the riches on offer across the Tasman.

Hastings, who impressed when called into the halves in the absence of Pearce and Maloney, will be the senior partner in what will likely be a new play-making combination with fellow youngster Jayden Nikorima.

Nikorima was poached from the Broncos as insurance, but few could have imagined how quickly the Roosters will need to turn to him.

Trent Robinson has established himself as the best young coach in the game since taking charge of the club three years ago, but 2016 is suddenly an altogether different challenge.

With Blake Ferguson required at fullback, only Jake Friend remains as the original member of Robinson's spine.

Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns was enlisted to help with the transition, but the former Manly consultant is understood to be holidaying overseas and not expected to report for duty until closer to the NRL season.

The fact that the Roosters themselves are scheduled to head abroad is a blessing. They will soon depart for a training camp in Dubai as part of preparations for the World Club Series, well away from a ravenous local media.

As soon as Pearce's antics aired on A Current Affair, bookies began writing them off. 

With Pearce likely not to play again in 2016, expect the Roosters to immediately scour for replacements. The disharmony at rivals South Sydney hasn't gone unnoticed at Bondi Junction, particularly speculation that halves Luke Keary and Adam Reynolds are unsettled. Watch this space.

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