Pearce OK with Jennings’ Origin return

Mitchell Pearce has backed NSW coach Laurie Daley’s decision to select his Sydney Roosters teammate Michael Jennings for State of Origin III.

Daley spoke to Pearce on Monday before announcing that Jennings would be available for selection for next month’s decider, despite his weekend arrest.

Pearce, who was dumped from the Blues side by Daley last year following a night out in Kings Cross, said he was comfortable with the decision.

“I’m right behind Loz there,” Pearce said.

“I thought one week with Jenko was more than enough, as it’s come out he hasn’t done much wrong, he made a misjudgment drinking alcohol.

“But as far as the bigger picture I can’t wait to play with him next week.

“Hopefully he has another massive star performance for Origin because I’m more than sure he deserves to be there.”

Jennings was stood down for one match and fined $20,000 – $10,000 of which has been suspended – after a joint investigation by the Roosters, NSWRL and the NRL integrity unit.

Jennings has received a notice to appear in court for hindering police and offensive behaviour after a weekend incident in a car park in Parramatta.

Policed said they noticed a man kicking a boom gate and when they intervened Jennings allegedly approached police “in an aggressive manner”.

He will appear in court on July 20 charged with hindering police and offensive behaviour.

“He knew he did the wrong thing, we’re in a good culture here where if you stuff up you sort of expect to get dropped and I thought he did his time this week,” Pearce said.

“He got embarrassed publicly. We really felt for him and supported him. He’s made a mistake. We’ve all made mistakes, he’d be focused ready to go from tomorrow training for the next couple of weeks which is a big couple of weeks for him.”

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