Mitchell Pearce Top Dog in Fight for The Frownlow Medal.

NSW Origin half Mitchell Pearce leads the race for the 2016 Frownlow Medal following a scandalous drunken incident at an Australia Day celebration.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.

Viral images of Pearce interacting with a canine during the festivities see him lead the race for the highly prestigious award which celebrates the off field achievements of players from the NRL, AFL, A League and Super Rugby.

Pearce has staked his claim very early in an effort to emulate Roosters team mate Kenny-Dowall.

“I’ve been putting in the hard yards in the off season…” said Pearce “…and I had the chance to put some points on the board early in the competition and I made the most of that chance.”

First published January 2016.

Image: Nuna