«I don’t feel I have to come out here and talk myself up,» Pearce said in Mudgee on Sunday.
«I have played plenty of games and I haven’t had much success. It has been spoken about for 10 years.
«I am happy with my footy. I am happy with who I am as a player, I am comfortable with myself as a player. If the Blues want to come to me, I’m not going to say no.»
The Newcastle captain scored a try, set four more up and put the icing on the cake with a 35-metre field goal in a near perfect playmaking performance in front of 9267 fans at Glen Willow Oval in Mudgee.
Pearce barked orders, pointed fingers and placed pinpoint kick after pinpoint kick in what was a superb Origin audition.
His traits as a playmaker would perfectly complement the way Luke Keary or Cody Walker thrive when playing freestyle football.
«I feel like I’ve learnt a lot more as a player at the Knights,» Pearce said.
«In terms of leadership, I’ve had to learn some more skills that I probably wasn’t good at and I’ve worked really hard at that.
«I’ve still got a long way to go with that but myself as captain and the boys as leaders, we are working really hard to set the energy each week.»
If Fittler needs to see how that combination may work, he doesn’t have to look any further than Pearce’s combination with Ponga.
They may not have clicked as a halves combination but as a fullback Ponga seems to know where and when Pearce wants him at all times.
«He just has that thing that you’re born with … there are only a few of them that are born with it and he was born with it,» Pearce said.
«He has that look in his eye. He just has class. There were a few times today when I was just looking at him and you just want to give him the ball.
«He has that class. It’s scary for NSW.»
Ponga scored two of Newcastle’s four first-half tries — before being denied another in the second half — as Pearce put the ball on a platter for anyone willing to run a dangerous line.
Big games from David Klemmer — who had 124 metres gained from 10 runs when the half-time siren rang out — and Tim Glasby set the platform through the middle of the field but Pearce and Ponga were the polish.
Their combination is one of the best — if not the best — in the NRL right now, with their games so complementary of one another.
Pearce takes the ball right to the defensive line, drawing hits and creating space for those around him.
When those around him have the amount of acceleration Ponga boasts, Newcastle look close to unstoppable.
That’s how Dragons fullback Matt Dufty must have felt in the first half, anyway, as Ponga twice stepped past him and left him clutching at thin air.
Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.