Pearce will go out for his 300th appearance in first class on Sunday when the Knights host Wests Tigers in Round 3.
It’s a great achievement for a player who has more attention and criticism than many others in rugby league.
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Pearce was only 17 when he made his debut for the Roosters in Round 2 of the 2007 season.
He has been remarkably consistent since then, suffering only one notable long-term injury in 2018 when he went to The Knights came.
This year, his debut season, and 2016 are the only campaigns where he has played fewer than 20 games.
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This 2016 season has been postponed for eight games thanks to an NRL ban on the infamous Australia Day video.
Pearce was caught on camera simulating sex with a dog , and the NRL fined him $ 125,000 for fleeing the country to rehabilitate himself for alcohol use.
In 2014 – a year after he won a Premier League with the Roosters – He was fined $ 20,000 and suspended from playing a game over an incident at a Kings Cross nightclub where he was banned from the area by police for 48 hours.
And earlier this year he gave up the Newcastle captain after his wedding was canceled because of flirtatious text messages exchanged with a Knights representative.
« If you say roller coaster, every player will tell you the same thing. Footy is a roller coaster hn, « Pearce told foxsports.com.au on Monday.
» Week after week it’s such a difficult sport that I play 300 more games than anything else. It takes pride in the hard work and discipline it takes to show up week after week and do the best for your teammates and club.
« I think I was lucky and was grateful that I didn’t have too many Injuries. Touch wood. I have been able to get the body ready for exercise for most of the weeks since I started.
« I’m really grateful for that. Such milestones in particular, especially the 300 for me, are the appreciation that I am able to do what I have loved for so long and with so many good people. «
A Premier League at age 24 and an NSW Blues debut at age 19 confirmed his status as the best up and coming halfback in the game.
» The club has grown in recent years. About three years ago there were three wooden spoons, slowly the club has developed and it was great to be a part of it.
« You can only go week after week, day after day, and right now it’s the season started well, so we have to keep building up as a club. «
» Now at the end of my career I have some personal goals, but for me it’s about winning the day and being consistent every day.
« I think when you get older, when you are in the moment, to do your best every day, to put your best foot forward, good things come out of it.
» When I do the best for my teammates every day it will spur me on to bigger things on the field. «
Pearce was the youngest player to reach 200 NRL games when he hit that milestone in 2015 at the age of 26 years and 115 days.
Less than five years later, he is playing his 300th place. Only one player in NRL history has reached 400 games.
If Pearce has his way, he’ll beat Cameron Smith’s 430-game record before he puts his boots on … which won’t be very, very long .
« I said to someone the other day that I want to play footy for as long as possible because that’s what I’ve loved since I was a kid, » he said.
« When I still run and run at 80 could do my job, I would still try to play. «
» The one year extra time (with the Knights) that I was really grateful for and I know I still have a lot of good footy in me, but right now I’m literally just trying to focus one day at a time. and every week as it comes. «
Pearce takes inspiration from Smith, who recently retired at 37, 36-year-old Benji Marshall, and the 34-year-old Morris twins as he seeks to expand his career.
« If you say » inspire « the biggest thing is probably that people turned 30 years ago 10 or 15 years ago and you would say your days are numbered, » he said.
« So like training is now, and with the likes of Smithy, Benji Marshall and the Morris boys right now, they are a few years older than me and they are still at great speed and still doing great things.
“Players inspire you , your teammates and your opponents inspire you to push the limits. After Smith played 400 people thought, « Who else can get there? ».
« But I literally just worry about every year. Good Footy gives you those extra years. If you don’t play good , it makes no sense to play.
« I think it’s about keeping your body in order, being as professional as possible, being disciplined and prepared, and the games follow the background. »
Pearce will lead the Knights to Hunter Stadium on Sunday with his parents watching from the stands.
His father, Balmain legend Wayne Pearce, may be a little torn than his son celebrating a major milestone against the famous colors Wayne once captained.
« Mom and Dad are really proud. Milestones for me, there have been some milestones before, it’s always great to have them with you To share with family and friends, « said Pearce.
» So that she was here that day r are to enjoy these moments, ride them ups and downs with you to make it great for everyone. «
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