Jake Friend

Watson 'Friend-zoned' despite strong showing

The 27-year-old hadn't missed a game in nearly two years but was forced to sit out the Roosters' fourth-straight win after he copped a knock to the mouth in the final minute of the Round 3 clash against the Panthers.

"I got hit with something – an elbow or something – and it pushed my three front teeth in," he said on Monday morning.

"I went and got them pulled back and now I've got a wire holding them in place. The dentist said that should keep them there and hopefully I don't get a whack and lose my front teeth.

Friend backs Pearce to shine

But 12 months is a long time in footy, and having changed his life for the better the 27-year-old's future is now secure after inking a new two-year deal that will see him stay at the Roosters until the end of 2019. 

It's a terrific comeback story and one that will likely see Pearce finish as a one-club man having made his debut for the Roosters back in 2007.

Roosters co-captain Jake Friend said Pearce's decision to commit to the club a week out from the new season was a massive boon for a side desperate to make amends for their 15th-place finish last year.