Mitchell Pearce

Pearce set for long stint on sidelines

Pearce left the field inside the final five minutes, with Jamie Buhrer filling in at halfback and placing a kick that resulted in the match-winning try to winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

Brown indicated post-game scans were set to confirm the extent of the injury but said it didn't look good.

The Knights coach also cleared any confusion during the game by confirming Pearce was replaced by Luke Yates as a free interchange - with Yates able to return to the field after passing a HIA examination.

Maloney expects Origin intensity in Pearce v Cronk battle

No stranger to taking on former sides after stints with the Sydney Roosters, Cronulla Sharks, Melbourne Storm and Warriors, he believes Pearce and Newcastle Knights teammates Connor Watson, Aidan Guerra and Shaun Kenny-Dowall will be out to prove a point against their old club, the Sydney Roosters.

The exit of Pearce, in particular, left Roosters fans with mixed opinions over the treatment of their long-serving players as he made way for Australian international Cooper Cronk after 12 seasons in the red, white and blue.

Mitchell Pearce's contract dependent on taking Newcastle Knights to NRL finals

Such was the demand for his services, Pearce could have named his price and virtually demanded a guaranteed fee to join the wooden-spooners.

Instead, he had financial incentives written into his contract that will reward him if the club reaches the top eight and the top four.

Reportedly on a deal worth more than $4 million over four years, Wests Group boss and Knights CEO Phil Gardner confirmed Pearce has backed himself to lead the club's revival after three consecutive wooden spoons.

Pearce could rue Roosters exit: Thurston

Thurston admitted the Roosters' decision to sign Cronk for two NRL seasons was "harsh" on Pearce, but said the 28-year-old was forgoing a golden chance to complete his skill set.

Cronk understands Pearce disappointment

As Pearce jetted out to the United States on a three-week holiday on Tuesday, Cronk fronted a large media contingency in Canberra ahead of Friday's World Cup game against France to discuss his decision to link with the Tricolours.

Sterling urges Pearce to leave Roosters

Cronk said he hopes Pearce remains at Bondi Junction and believes Roosters coach Trent Robinson can successfully deploy three representative halves in 2018, with Cronk, Pearce and Luke Keary all playing in the same side.

The two men who can give Queensland the blues

Hayne is undoubtedly one of the game's most damaging stars and has shown flashes of brilliance throughout the series, including a try in each of the first two Origins.  

However, his final 20 minutes in the Game Two loss at ANZ Stadium left some questioning whether he should be retained for the July 12 decider after Hayne came up with a couple of errors, including a shocking behind-the-back flick pass that let Queensland off the hook just when the Blues were going in for the kill. 

Cordner lauds 'inspirational' Pearce

Pearce has become the undisputable go-to man for the Roosters in 2017, with the Blues halfback-in-waiting scoring all four of his tries this season in the final 20 minutes of games. 

His willingness to take the line on has been an inspiration to his teammates, while his lengthy field goal drought was broken with back-to-back one-pointers in rounds eight and nine.   

"I feel like he's had his best ever year in the last 20 minutes of games; it's the simplest way I can explain it," Roosters coach Trent Robinson said after the 24-18 win over the Bulldogs.  

Friend backs Pearce to shine

But 12 months is a long time in footy, and having changed his life for the better the 27-year-old's future is now secure after inking a new two-year deal that will see him stay at the Roosters until the end of 2019. 

It's a terrific comeback story and one that will likely see Pearce finish as a one-club man having made his debut for the Roosters back in 2007.

Roosters co-captain Jake Friend said Pearce's decision to commit to the club a week out from the new season was a massive boon for a side desperate to make amends for their 15th-place finish last year.  

Pearce still has a lot to offer: Sterling

The talented 27-year-old has played 15 matches for the Blues but missed the 2016 series following his Australia Day indiscretions that resulted in an eight-week suspension to start the season.