Sydney Roosters star Cooper Cronk has quashed calls by Phil Gould to drop out-of-sorts centre Latrell Mitchell.
The 21-year-old’s form had dipped since reports emerged South Sydney are preparing an offer to lure the youngster.
Gould declared on Channel Nine that Mitchell would be a “distraction” for NSW in his “current frame of mind”, a statement denied by Cronk.
“I don’t understand where it’s all coming from. Three weeks ago [against the Tigers] he played the best game any young kid has played in rugby league history now he isn’t happy or playing well,” Cronk told the media.
“[Gould] is able to call it as he sees it. But I don’t think Phil Gould is in the phone contacts of Latrell Mitchell in terms of catching up and he would regularly know Latrell’s position on anything.
“Cool the jets, just relax. He knows what he is doing.”
Mitchell has been named in his usual No.3 jersey for the Roosters’ clash against Canterbury on Sunday.
According to NRL.com, the Roosters plan to upgrade and extend Mitchell’s contract beyond his current deal, which expires in 2020.
However, neither the Roosters of Mitchell’s representatives plan to begin discussions until after Origin III in mid-July.