22-year-old Sydney Roosters star Latrell Mitchell has been reeling from the shock axing by NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler.
Despite Fittler admitting the difficulty in his decision to drop the young Rooster, Mitchell did not meet the new Blues’ “Standards and expectations” following the narrow loss to the Maroons in Game I.
Mitchell has been outstanding for his club side on weekends, scoring a double in a ruthless win for the Roosters who snapped a three-game losing streak. Yet reports out of Sydney suggest Mitchell may permanently rule himself out from future Origin series following the unlikely cut from the NSW boss.
According to reports from The Sydney Morning Herald, Mitchell is now “disillusioned” by the NSW team. It’s believed regardless of the result next week he will refuse to play in Game III and commit solely to playing for the Roosters.
Mitchell’s parents have come out in support of their son with father Matt admitting “The rep stuff is just a bonus but the Roosters pay his bills, not NSW.”
“I’m just happy he’s back playing well for the Roosters and that’s his main concern, just playing consistently.”
His mother Patricia also outlined that the deaths of four family members in two months and the assault charges against his brother have significantly affected the Centre.
“He has never had to deal with anything like this,” Patricia said to Channel 9 News.
“Latrell has been dealing with this the best way he can, but this will affect any young person as you can imagine.”
NSW captain Boyd Cordner and Queensland great Darryn Lockyer have come out in support of Mitchell and both told Channel 9 that Mitchell will come out firing in the near future.
Cordner claimed “Knowing Latrell, he will use that as a bit of motivation” whilst also strongly admitting it was “definitely not the end of his rep career”.
Lockyer believed due to a shocker in Game I where Mitchell was sin-binned that he would come out to play in Game II.
“He’s been criticised for his performance, so there is that element where he would have come out pretty fired up for this Game,” Lockyer said.
“You knew he was going to turn up because everyone’s been talking about him”.
Mitchell will not play for this series and only time will tell whether he returns again to a Blues shirt in future series. Game II can all but seal the Maroons’ 12th Origin in 14 years and Fittler + the NSW selection process will have questions to answer based off the result.
Game II will be played on June 23 at Optus Stadium from 7.50pm.