Mitchell Pearce has continued the Knights' charm offensive to have Kangaroos forward Tyson Frizell move to Newcastle in 2021.
As Pearce prepares to lead his teammates against Frizell's Dragons in Saturday's NRL trial in Maitland, the premiership-winning halfback applied a little more pressure in getting the 28-year-old to sign with the Hunter club.
"All I can say on that is 'It's a great club Tyson and I'd love to have you here mate'," Pearce said looking directly at the cameras before Tuesday's Knights training session.
Frizell is off-contract this year but NRL.com has reported he hopes to sign a new Dragons deal before the season starts.
Newcastle has only one player in the current Test side and that's prop David Klemmer.
He also made a plea for Tyson to consider shifting north just 24 hours earlier.
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Pearce continued the push and has a personal connection with Frizell being NSW Blues teammates.
"I've roomed with Tyson in Origin before and he's a mate of a mine, a really good player, great player. He'd be awesome for this club," Pearce said.
But he said he hadn't picked up the phone for a private conversation.
"I haven't spoken to Tyson. It's not my thing. Other people in the club do that," Pearce said.
"As a player it's not something we're worried about. But as I said he's a great player and it'd be great to have him up here."
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Pearce made it plain his own aspirations to continue with rep footy are still strong in his mind.
"I'd love to play rep footy," said the man who came in for the injured No.7 Nathan Cleary and helped steer the Blues to victory in 2019.
"If you're playing good footy and preparing well and you're in a clear head space you take on each challenge week by week.
"Who knows how the season will unfold. I've got plenty of goals so yeah, I'd like to be involved with that. But my intentions today are playing good footy with the Knights."
And that starts with the Dragons in Maitland, although being a trial there will be plenty of players chopping and changing in positions such as the halves.
While Pearce will be the starting halfback in round one against the Warriors, his five-eighth partner is not certain.
"Kurt (Mann) has been training there most of the pre-season and doing a great job. Mase (Lino) played really well in the Nines," Pearce said.
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"I'm not sure how the coach is seeing the trial – if he's seeing it as selection for round one, or how he's viewing it. All I know is the players are keen to get out there and have a run."
Other contenders for the No.6 include Phoenix Crossland (currently nursing a hip injury), Connor Watson and Nathanael Sasagi, who also played well at the Nines.
Immortal and former Knights skipper Andrew Johns threw another name into the mix – 20-year-old Tex Hoy - in his weekly panel show on the Wide World of Sports website with Brad Fittler.
"Newcastle has got a position where they haven't really filled at five-eighth," Johns said on 'Freddy & The Eighth'.
"Tex is a young guy with a really big frame. He predominantly plays fullback – played there his whole life – but he won't play there with Kalyn Ponga there for the next 10 years.
"So if he locks down that five-eight position, around that right side for Newcastle combining with Mitchell Pearce, I think he can have a huge year."