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How Pearce is helping this rising star

There’s a reason he’s the leader of our Club.

Not only is nib Newcastle Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce an outstanding player but he's also acting as something of a mentor to the team’s younger players.

One player he’s taken a liking to this pre-season is rising back-rower Brodie Jones.

“Mitchell Pearce has taken me under his wing a lot this year, he’s very handy to be around,” Jones said.

“He’s a smart footballer and I’m taking as much off him as I can.

“I’m going to all of the video sessions I can with him and learning as much as I can.

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“He’s really helped me out this year, a lot.”

Jones is a rising prospect who was a consistent stand out for the Canterbury Cup side last season.

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He recently re-committed to the Knights for another season, with his eyes firmly set on an NRL debut in 2020.

“Growing up as a local junior, that was a big decision,” Jones said.

“I want to play for the Knights and that’s where I want to be for most of my life, so if I got an opportunity to stay, I was always going to take it.

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“I took it with both hands and hopefully it all works out for me and I get a crack at the NRL this year, because I’d like to stay here for as long as I can.”

A damaging backrower who is also at home out wide, Jones’ versatility will make him one to watch next year, should he receive his opportunity.

The 21-year-old believes he needs to get the one percenters right in order to ensure he receives his breakthrough.

“Mainly for me it’s just getting the off-field things right, getting home and working on my body and keeping intact to be ready for the next big day,” he said.

“This (pre-season’s) been pretty big so far.

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“It’s pretty much just making sure I’m out on the field all the time and not breaking down, that’s the main thing for me.”

The man he needs to impress, coach Adam O’Brien, has been watching his progression closely.

However, Jones admits he’s not the only one trying to catch O’Brien’s eye.

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“You’ve got to impress, I think that’s how all the players are,” he said.

“Whenever that happens it’s going to be a big thing for all the players to impress, because it’s a level playing field.

“Everyone’s fighting for position and trying to leave a good mark on the coach.”