Buderus confirmed that Pearce was in Newcastle but was absent when returning to pre-season training on Monday.
However, the 31-year-old Halfback will be returning to practice later in the week to inform the playgroup about a flirtatious text exchange with a Knights employee that forced Pearce to break off his wedding to fiancé Kristin Scott.
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The employee has a long-term relationship with a man who is close friends with several Knights players, including striker Lachlan Fitzgibbon.
Up to 150 guests were invited to Pearce’s wedding to Ms. Scott in Byron Bay last week, but guests were informed last Wednesday that the wedding was canceled.
« It is not acceptable, there is no doubt about it, » Buderus told the media on Monday. « It’s something we all strive for . . . Culture. Culture is very important to us; What we stand for is very important and we need these players to hold on to.
Knights trainer Adam O’Brien and senior management will take over the captaincy from Pearce, a veteran of 297 NRL games.
« Mitchell loves to be a captain and if it continued like this it would hurt. So it’s one of those things that could happen, but there are a variety of things that could happen, ”he said.
“We have yet to finalize these decisions on which direction we will take the leadership. We are not rushed. ”
Pearce is expected to apologize to the playgroup when he returns to pre-season training later this week.
« I think it definitely needs to be addressed (immediately) when he comes back . . . otherwise it can fester in the group, « said Buderus.
« I think Mitchell would like it that way. Everyone who comes into this group needs to understand what they have all been through and the pressures the club has been under for the (last) 12 days.
Buderus also stressed that Pearce was still wanted by the Knights, but admitted the scandal could affect contract negotiations with the former NSW Blues representative.
Pearce’s current $ 1 million per season contract ends after the 2021 season. The Daily Telegraph reported that he was offered a two-year extension that cut his salary in half before this latest scandal.
« We want (to have Pearce here). We cannot say that he will not be part of us in 2021, ”said Buderus.
« Just because you are (or are not) the captain doesn’t mean you are not here.
“We’re still going through this process (renegotiating contracts). There will (will be) a lot of personal impact on Mitchell professionally, too, but that’s a bridge to cross when we get to it. ”
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Mitchell Pearce, Newcastle Knights, National Rugby League, Danny Buderus
World News – AU – NRL News 2021: Sexting of Mitchell Pearce, SMS scandal, Newcastle Knights captain
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