Latrell Mitchell has boldly claimed that his Roosters teammate Joseph Manu will become the best centre in the game following the Kiwis’ narrow 26-24 win over Australia on Saturday, as reported by nrl.com.
Mitchell and Manu faced off against each other for Australia and New Zealand respectively just weeks after guiding the Roosters to a premiership, a tough contest which saw Manu arguably win the honours with one try, another brilliantly set up and a third disallowed in a starring role for the Kiwis.
“He’s an unbelievable talent,” Mitchell said.
“I don’t doubt he’ll be the best centre in the game one day – probably could even be next year. He just turns it on. I think he can go to another level. He has showed that.”
“I actually believe he can be the best centre in the game,” Mitchell said.
“I know I get the raps, but that’s not for me to say. The way he’s played the last two years, I’ve seen him grow as a player. He’s an unbelievable talent and the things he does I wish I could do.”
In response to Mitchell’s praise, Manu said: “It’s pretty nice words coming from him. We just talked about it after the game, and we said, ‘were the two best centres in the world’. We have a lot of respect for each other”.
Mitchell and Manu developed through the Roosters’ junior ranks together, becoming close friends in tandem with their rocketing rise to football prominence. Saturday’s match marked their test debut, having jointly earned their respective national colours after brilliant seasons with the Roosters.
“I said to him ‘congrats, I’m proud of you and love ya’. He said the same back and we shared a hug. It was a special moment. I was proud of his performance but disappointed in myself for letting him play as well as he did,” Mitchell said.
“I’m happy to see him do well. He’s one of my brothers, we’re close and I enjoy watching him play. He’s a freak and you’re always on the edge of your seat. I got goose bumps playing against him.”