Mitchell Pearce is set for a dressing room showdown with teammate Lachlan Fitzgibbon over the sexting scandal that ruined his wedding.
Mitchell Pearce is set for a dressing room showdown with teammate Lachlan Fitzgibbon over the sexting scandal that ruined his wedding.

Star’s face-off with teammate over sexting

Mitchell Pearce and Lachlan Fitzgibbon will endure a tense reunion when the under-fire Newcastle Knights skipper returns to preseason training this week.

Pearce's personal life and his standing at his NRL club is in tatters after he was caught sexting a Knights employee just days out from his wedding to Kristin Scott.

The wedding was cancelled and Pearce is desperately trying to repair his relationship. He's also preparing to face the music at his footy club.

Teammate Lachlan Fitzgibbon is a close friend of the boyfriend of the club employee and was reportedly furious at Pearce's actions.

It will all come to a head at training later this week, where Knights general manager of football Danny Buderus is hoping it can be addressed promptly for the sake of the upcoming season.

"There will be an address from Mitchell," Buderus told reporters on Monday.

"It definitely needs to be addressed (immediately) when he comes back … otherwise it can fester among the group," he added.

"Mitchell would like it that way. Anyone who walks into that group needs to understand what they've all gone through and the pressure the club has been under in the (past) 12 days.

"Something needs to be said and once it's said we can all move on."

Buderus praised Fitzgibbon for the way he was dealing with the situation. "He's shown some really good leadership in and around it, understanding what he needs to move forward so we're addressing all those areas among the group to ensure all parties are happy to get back out on to the football field."

Mitchell Pearce and Kristin Scott.
Mitchell Pearce and Kristin Scott.

Pearce's days of leading his teammates on to that field appear over though.

Buderus said coach Adam O'Brien was conducting a review of the club's player leadership model and conceded stripping Pearce of the captaincy was an option.

"He likes to be captain, so if it was to go that way it would hurt," Buderus said.

Buderus said Pearce's main focus for now was his relationship with Scott.

"It's difficult. You can only imagine how he's going," he said.

Buderus stressed Pearce was still wanted at the Knights but admitted the scandal could affect contract negotiations with the former NSW Blues representative.

Pearce's current $1 million-a-season contract ends after the 2021 season. The Daily Telegraph reported that he was offered a two-year extension that halved his salary before this latest scandal.

"We're still going through that (contract renegotiation) process. There's (going to be) a lot of personal impact for Mitchell, professionally as well, but that's a bridge we need to cross when we get to it."

Originally published as Star's face-off with teammate over sexting

Lachlan Fitzgibbon with his partner.
Lachlan Fitzgibbon with his partner.


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