Mitchell Pearce has been through a lot over the last few months.
During his suspension for acting like a tool on Australia Day Pearce has watched his Sydney Roosters go from one disastrous loss to another, culminating in his coach Trent Robinson receiving a fine for attacking the integrity of a referee and decisions made by the NRL Bunker.
This isn’t exactly the situation Pearce needs as he steps back into first grade and tried to play himself back into form.
It will be interesting to see how Pearce handles his first real game of football in 2016. With all of the off field distractions and the fact that he will be lacking in match fitness, it isn’t going to be easy.
Pearce will need at least a few weeks to get his legs back under him, and that isn’t even accounting for him having to do so in a team that is struggling to win games.
If Pearce is able to get back into the Roosters side and make a big contribution this weekend, it will be impressive. It will show that he can handle all of the off field stuff and just concentrate on doing his job.
Football clubs won’t admit it, but as long as their star players can get the job done on the field, they don’t really care what they do off the field. Just as long as it doesn’t attract negative headlines. Lets face it, had we never seen that video from Australia Day, Pearce would have never missed a game.
No doubt some Roosters fans will expect Pearce to step back in and completely change the way the team are playing. I just can’t see that happening though. The Roosters have too many issues they need to fix right now. Pearce just needs to make a solid return, do his job well, and worry about finding his own form first. If he can do that, his return to the NRL will be successful.