ARMCHAIR CRITIC: Friend an example for Pearce
IF MITCHELL Pearce needs more guidance he need only turn to Sydney Roosters co-captain and Noosa product Jake Friend.
The clearly-troubled Pearce, who faces sanctions from his club after appearing in a bawdy video, has checked into rehab to try and sort himself out.
The episode could possibly be the last straw for the 26-year-old, who was fined $20,000 for an incident at Kings Cross in 2014.
Regardless of whether he gets another chance, he could do with some sage advice from Friend, who has overcome a number of alcohol-fuelled indiscretions.
Friend, who is also 26, had his contact ripped up at the end of 2009 after a series of events.
There was a drink driving charge and then an altercation with a taxi driver.
But he worked things out, essentially from starting at the bottom again. He worked 9-5 at a cafe and had on-going counselling.
His rehabilitation went so well he was welcomed back to the Roosters in mid-2010 and he's since made the most of it.
Friend has evolved into one of the most respected men at the club.
He now boasts a leadership role, a premiership ring and is touted as a state and national representative player of the future.
I'm sure Pearce's current issues aren't exactly the same as the ones which once haunted Friend, but the former can still learn plenty from the latter's determination to find the right path.
That path may not necessarily lead the NSW half back to the top of the NRL, but it will certainly take him to a better place in general.