The Sydney Roosters have identified exciting centre Billy Smith as Latrell Mitchell’s replacement, according to The Daily Telegraph.
It comes after the publisher’s earlier report that the back-to-back premiers pulled its $800,000 offer to Mitchell for 2020 following a meeting with coach Trent Robinson on Tuesday.
Smith has been part of the club’s extended NRL squad for the past two seasons and has already reportedly begun forming an impressive combination with star fullback James Tedesco.
Instead of pursuing the free agent market, the Roosters have a rising replacement on a bargain basement price.
It also puts them in a good position to pursue big-name 2021 free agents, with Bronco David Fifta believed to be high on their wish list.
Smith, who made his NRL debut in the Roosters’ round 23 win over the Dragons, was stoked to get his chance after overcoming a serious knee injury.
“It’s what dreams are made of. I’ve been thinking of that moment since I was a little boy,” he said of his debut.
“It’s been a pretty long 11 months for me with the ACL injury.
“Robbo’s got so much confidence in me and I really feel that. The boys have a lot of faith in my ability. It’s easy for me, I just play off the back of those boys.”