Sydney Roosters strip Mitchell Pearce of co-captain's job

Mitchell Pearce fronts the media after his Australia Day behaviour landed him in trouble.
Mitchell Pearce fronts the media after his Australia Day behaviour landed him in trouble.

Mitchell Pearce has been stood down as Sydney Roosters co-captain as the fallout from his drunken Australia Day escapades continue.

The sanction is likely to be the first of many for the halfback, who met with NRL teammates for the first time on Monday since returning from a month-long stint in a Thai rehab clinic.

Pearce also labelled himself the worst role model in the NRL and said he was not surprised to lose the captaincy as a result of the video which showed him simulating a lewd act with a dog.

Hooker Jake Friend will take on the sole captaincy duties as Pearce's immediate future remains clouded.

"I deserved to lose it," he told News Corp Australia. "If I hadn't, I would have stood down anyway. The actions I was showing were against everything a captain should be doing."

However, the NSW Origin star doesn't believe his career should be over as a result of his actions, despite calls from NRL's women's advisor Catherine Lumby to rub him out of the game.

"What she said is right in the fact I have been educated and I haven't learnt my lesson to this point," he said.

"But I have just been to a rehab centre and I am taking ownership of my life. Right now, she can argue her point. But in time hopefully I can prove that wrong."

Fox Sports league expert Matty Johns told NRL Tonight on Monday he feels a six-game ban and $A50,000 fine would be suitable.

The 26-year-old admitted he felt sick the first time he saw the footage, however he denied suggestions he is an alcoholic.

Instead, he said his problem is with binge drinking, and has therefore sworn off the grog in the immediate future.

"It's no secret I haven't handled alcohol great over my career," he said. "One thing I have learned - I am not denying I love having a good time, I always love to have a beer, but it can't serve a place in my life for now or the near future."

Pearce has also revealed he had been at the house for approximately an hour before the video was filmed, and he did remember the majority of the night.

He also ruled out suing the man responsible for filming the act without his consent, and said he is unsure whether he had been set up to be embarrassed on video by the group.

He will resume training with the club from March 7.

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