Mitchell Pearce’s Super League Transformation: Catalans Impact

Mitchell Pearce Reflects on Transformative Super League Experience

Mitchell Pearce, the former NRL and State of Origin star, has called time on a glittering career spanning over 350 games across the NRL and Super League. After representing the Sydney Roosters, Newcastle Knights, and Catalans Dragons, Pearce’s move to the South of France proved to be a pivotal moment in his personal and professional journey.

In a candid interview with Fox Sports, Pearce opened up about the immense influence his former Catalans teammates, Michael McIlorum and Tyrone May, had on his life during his time in the Super League. Pearce admitted that his relationship with alcohol had been a long-standing issue throughout his career, but it was his move to Perpignan that finally allowed him to make the necessary changes.

“It wasn’t until the second year (in the Super League) I made some big changes, I actually stopped drinking and had some really solid friends there,” Pearce revealed. The former NRL “bad boy” credited McIlorum and May as being instrumental in his transformation, as the trio formed a strong “brotherhood” and supported each other in shedding their drinking habits.

Pearce’s time with the Catalans Dragons provided him with a newfound perspective on life, one that he believes would have positively impacted his career had he made those changes sooner. “You sort of look back and go oh, I sort of sabotaged a bit there… I would have had more balance in my life if (I gave it up sooner),” the retiring star reflected.

As Pearce bid farewell to the game, his former teammate McIlorum continues to thrive with the Catalans Dragons, having won two Super League titles and three Challenge Cups during his time in the South of France. Tyrone May, another former Catalans player, also departed the club at the end of the 2023 season, moving to Hull KR.

While Pearce’s retirement was tinged with disappointment, as his side fell short of a fairytale Grand Final victory, his candid revelations about the pivotal role of his teammates in his personal growth have resonated with rugby league fans across the world.

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