NRL News, The Mole | Roosters, Mitchell Pearce’s goodbye threatens...

The dominoes are slowly but surely fitting together so Mitchell Pearce can return to the Sydney Roosters in 2021.

Pearce played 11 seasons and more than 200 games with the Roosters before joining the Knights in 2018. The 31-year-old, forced by Cooper Cronk’s signing, seemed destined to end his career in Newcastle.

But Kyle Flanagan’s indifferent year with the Roosters, coupled with the Knights’ bad season end, got the ball rolling for a shock game of halfback musical chairs.

The roosters told Flanagan that he was free to leave and that he had joined Canterbury.

Meanwhile, the Knights have been linked to both English ace Gareth Widdop and playmaker Mitchell Moses von Eels.

Add to that the possibility of Pearce being asked to take a cut with the Knights and the fact that he misses his family in Sydney, and it’s just a question of whether the Roosters can negotiate a release and still stay below the salary cap.

Look forward to further developments.

Mitchell Pearce is about to make an extraordinary return to the Roosters after a stint in Newcastle. (Getty)

STURM GRAND FINAL STAR SPARKING INTERESSE

As the ultimate professionals, the Storm will have every member of their big final squad under lock and key as early as 2021 – with the exception of Cameron Smith, of course.

The following year, however, is a different case as many of Craig Bellamy’s champions drop out of the contract.

That means it’s a fair game to start speaking to rivals starting this Sunday November 1st.

One player who is already drawing a lot of interest is the highly competitive center Brenko Lee – a typical Bellamy success story.

After a mixed fortune in his previous roles with the Raiders, Titans and Bulldogs, Lee grew up in the excellent Storm system.

With a lack of class centers in the NRL, several clubs have already announced that they will be playing a game for the strong runner in 2022.

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Storm center Brenko Lee in action during the great NRL final win over Penrith. (Getty)

POPULAR MANLY WINGER AM BRINK OF NEW DEAL

He’s only played three games for Manly this year, but bearded winger Abbas Miski has already established himself as a fan favorite among Brookvale believers.

And the heavily built winger, who made two attempts in those three games, is about to sign a new deal with the Sea Eagles.

With Brendan Elliot released and Albert Hopoate still pending a decision on his future and the outstanding questions about Tom Trbojevic’s long-term fitness, Manly could be a little skinny in 2021 and this is where Miski could come in handy.

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The male winger Abbas Miski (L) in action against the Warriors. (Getty)

HARDNESS FOR 25 YEARS FIRST FOR UNUSED STORM GF PICK

Save a thought for Nicho Hynes during the celebrations in Victoria, who made an undesirable mark in the grand finale.

A promising full-back, Hynes was the first player in the modern league to be selected for a grand final … but didn’t play.

Nine’s stats guru David Middleton did a bit of digging for me and found that the last time a team used fewer than 17 players to make a decision was back in 1995.

That season, both the Bulldogs and Manly only used 16 men each, but in those days the teams named about a dozen bankers, and therefore no particular player missed the boat.

But Hynes was given something to ease the pain – a Premiership ring – and a story to tell his grandchildren for many years to come.

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