South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell has revealed he was very close to withdrawing from this year's World Cup after an exhausting NRL season before a call from coach Mal Meninga changed his mind.
Speaking to Nine News, Mitchell admitted he was preparing to leave Sydney and return to his family farm before he received Meninga's call.
“I was just thinking about the kids and just going back to the farm, to be honest,” Mitchell admitted, claiming a wild season had worn him down.
“It was a long year, I've had a pretty up-and-down rollercoaster of a season.
“I was contemplating (pulling out), but 'Big Mal' gave me a call and I just knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.
“It was definitely hard getting on the plane and cruising because I like staying on the land.”
Though Mitchell has previously worn the green and gold, he's never represented Australia at a World Cup – admitting it's something he's wanted to do since his youth.
“I sort of pinch myself a little bit because I was an 18 or 19-year-old kid asking the older fellas about playing (in a World Cup).”
The Kangaroos squad will contain 13 debutants after a number of players decided to move away from the national team and represent other nations.
The Kangaroos kick off their World Cup campaign against Fiji in Leeds on October 15 (local). Australian viewers can catch the contest at 5.30am (AEDT) on October 16.