Mitchell Pearce admits alcohol problem

"I have a problem with alcohol and it's something I need to address."Mitchell Pearce has apologised for his Australia Day disgrace. STORY: #7News #NRL

Posted by 7 News Queensland on Thursday, January 28, 2016

A shattered Mitchell Pearce has addressed the media for the first time about the Australia Day scandal that threatens to derail his career.

In a very brief, pre-prepared statement, the Roosters captain apologised and admitted he needed to seek help for his problems with alcohol.

"I unreservedly apologise to everyone for my actions over the last couple days," said Pearce, who appeared distraught.

"My behaviour was unacceptable. I'm embarrassed and take full responsibility for my actions.


"I acknowledge that I have a problem with alcohol and it's something that I need to address.

"It is not an accuse but it is a realisation that I need help.

"Together with the club, I am working on a solution to address these issues. It will come out in the next couple of days.

"I just want to thank everyone for turning up, and I apologise again."

The 26-year-old, who has been temporarily stood down by the club, made the statement in a hastily arranged press conference this afternoon at 3pm NZT.

Pearce has a nervous wait, with his club and the NRL determining whether to expel him from the game over his lewd behaviour.

The NSW State of Origin star has been stood down indefinitely from club activities while the Roosters investigate the events that led to the airing of footage of him simulating a sex act with a dog.

Pearce's drunken stupor at an Australia Day party is almost certain to draw a heavy fine, as well as the end of his co-captaincy - but it's his immediate playing future that is shrouded in doubt.

The NRL adviser on women's issues, Professor Catharine Lumby, led a chorus of those calling for his head on Thursday, and hinted at stepping down from her role should Pearce be given a stay of execution.

"If the approach of the NRL changes and there is a slap on the wrist, I'd be very disappointed and I'd probably look at whether I was of use to the NRL," Lumby said.

The club's major sponsor Steggles admitted it was concerned by the video, which also showed Pearce attempting to kiss a woman - who seconds earlier rebuffed him - and allegedly urinating on himself.

It is the second time in two years that the 26-year-old has been in trouble for off-field misdemeanours.

The heat is on to deregister Pearce from the NRL.

Coach Trent Robinson described his behaviour as unacceptable.

"The behaviour was unacceptable, we understand that and, at the Roosters, we can't accept that - we won't," Robinson said.

Roosters recruits Jayden Nikorima and Dale Copley were reported to have been present at the party and have since been interviewed by the club.