Mitchell Pearce has implored Brock Lamb to remain at Newcastle, even though the 21-year-old has the same reasons to leave that led to his departure from Sydney Roosters.
As Pearce began pre-season training with Newcastle on Monday, Lamb has been linked with an early release from his NRL contract to join Manly.
Pearce elected to move to the Knights after Cooper Cronk signed with the Roosters, effectively shunting him out of their starting side.
With Pearce expected to team up with fellow ex-Rooster Connor Watson as part of a new-look Knights scrum base, Lamb seems likely to suffer the same fate and be forced either onto the bench or out of Nathan Brown’s 17 entirely.
It would be a stiff blow for the Maitland junior who proved in the back end of this season he was a gun in the making.
Between rounds 21-23, he piloted the Knights to upset wins over Parramatta, St George Illawarra and the Warriors, scoring three tries, setting up another five and making two linebreaks in that period.
Cronulla and the Sea Eagles are both on the market for a playmaker and Lamb shapes as a likely recruitment target.
But despite Lamb having incentive to look elsewhere, Pearce said he hoped he remained after proving himself a first-grader last year.
“I’d love Brock to stay,” Pearce said.
“Before I came here I was a fan of the way he played.
“For a 20-year-old, the way he played in a team that was down the bottom of the ladder, he was a real standout, a local junior and he’s got a massive future.
“I’d love to form some sort of combination.”