Ex-Sydney Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan hopes disgraced NRL star Mitchell Pearce can overcome his demons.
Pearce was forced to make a tearful apology last week after a video was released of him during an Australia Day bender in which he simulated a sex act with a dog.
The 26-year-old admitted he had a problem with alcohol before then flying overseas to enter a rehabilitation clinic.
Canavan, who was Pearce’s boss before becoming Gold Coast’s chief operating officer last month, says the NSW State of Origin representative’s well-being is all that matters at the moment.
“It doesn’t matter what walk of life you’re in, you need to look after the individual’s health,” Canavan said.
“That’s where it’s at with Mitchell now. We just sincerely hope he returns as a healthy human being and then address the other issues after that.”
Canavan wouldn’t be drawn on what might have happened to Pearce if he’d still been at the Roosters when the video was released.
He also played down any suggestion the lengthy drinking session Pearce and several other Roosters players indulged in on the public holiday wouldn’t have occurred under his watch.
“You don’t live with them 24/7,” he said.
“I really can’t comment on that.”
Canavan was speaking about his old club during his first public appearance since joining the Titans.
The highly-regarded administrator watched training alongside Titans’ chief executive Graham Annesley and says he’s excited about his new role.
“It’s just got this simmering talent base,” he said.
“I’ve come from a place that’s stable, that’s been successful … and I’ve come to a place that has one direction to go and that’s very much upward.”