And then there were four? Or five?
In an interview in SMH today, Trent Robinson confirmed that Mitchell Pearce will certainly be in line to take over the captaincy duties once Anthony Minichiello retires.
While no announcement has been made on Mini’s future yet, it seems likely the next captain of the Roosters will come from the quartet of MP7, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend or Boyd Cordner.
There were as-yet unsubstantiated rumours that Sonny Bill Williams might be dangled the carrot of captaincy to entice him to sign for another year at the club, and until proven otherwise it remains an option for the team.
It certainly sparked debate earlier in the season among fans on Twitter and Facebook, with many adamant that the next captain must be a long-termer amid strong rumours SBW will return to rugby in time for the next World Cup.
But the debate is likely to heat up as early as this season with the chance that Mini will hang up the cloak at the end of the year.
So with that in mind, here’s another poll!
(Are you serious?)
The Roosters view Pearce as a leader, with coach Trent Robinson appointing him as one of four vice-captains alongside Boyd Cordner, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Jake Friend. Minichiello is tipped to finish up at Bondi Junction at the end of the year, and Robinson confirmed Pearce is a strong chance of being their next skipper.
”He’s definitely in contention there,” Robinson said. ”Pearcey’s a part of that, he’s developed as a person and player for us. That’s why I chose the four vice-captains, I thought they were working hard to take over from ‘Mini’ at some stage.”
Pearce, now in his seventh year in first grade, has long been viewed as captaincy material. Ricky Stuart called for him to be the skipper of the Blues when he was just 20 years old and, while the move didn’t materialise, the No.7 could be an option when Paul Gallen eventually finishes up. But first he must turn potential into performance by finally dominating Origin and ending Queensland’s seven-year streak.
While much has been said of Pearce’s new-found maturity – ”Enough has been written about how much he’s evolved”, Robinson said – the ultimate test will come on Wednesday night.
”He’s proved he’s got clearer as a player and person, and he’s going into a period where he’s had a great 11 games for us,” Robinson said. ”He’s ready to go in the Origin series. He’s worked hard on himself and on his game. He’s ready and Jimmy [halves partner James Maloney] has helped with that this year as well.”