Wednesday the 3rd of July. It was a regular day for Mitchell Pearce, his mindset completely focused on going two from two against the Warriors this weekend.
Following the completion of a gruelling 75-minute gym session, he headed into a team meeting. The team had delved deep into strategy, finalising work before heading to the field.
That’s when it happened.
Pearce barely had laced up his boots for the field session when coach Nathan Brown caught him off guard.
Brown pulled Pearce aside and delivered news that would rock his foundations. He couldn’t believe it, and jumped straight on the phone to Freddy.
He was in for the Origin decider and needed to leave immediately.
“I was actually just preparing for the Warriors up there, we were just about to do a field sesh (session),” Pearce recalled.
“Then Browny came in, (he’d) got a call from Freddy or someone from NSW. Then I went and called Freddy, I was super excited.
“I thought the boat had passed after the team was announced the other day, so I was focused on the Warriors.
“But yeah, was really excited and just stoked to be here.”
Pearce wasn’t dwelling on being “overlooked” after being recalled to the NSW Blues Origin side.
“I was obviously just focussed on the Warriors this week, that’s where my focus was going for the game.
“Like I said, caught off guard a bit with it but super excited and just over the moon.”
Pearce exuded confidence when talking to the media, diminishing any doubt of his performance or mental state heading into the round three origin decider.
“I just love playing footy, we’re living the dream,” he said.
“In four/five years’ time when footy is finished, I’ll be thinking about moments like this down here in front of you.
“Like I said, I’m really grateful to be in here, walking in and getting the opportunity to play with all the world class players in the team. I’m really excited.”
Stepping in as NSW No.7 for Nathan Cleary, Pearce projects a self-assured confidence and is obviously eager to bring his best performance to the field on July 10.