Sydney Roosters star Latrell Mitchell is reportedly considering a shock move to rugby union after his advisors enquired about the prospect of a code switch with Rugby Australia.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Mitchell’s management team reportedly made contact with RA to see if there is any interest in the 22-year-old as a potential Wallabies prospect as his options to stay in the NRL continue to dwindle.
The Roosters have pulled their lucrative contract offer from the table in a deal which would have secured the four-test Kangaroo centre’s long-term future.
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Instead, the reigning NRL champions want Mitchell off their books as soon as possible, despite the fact he is contracted with Sydney until 2020.
Similarly, the SMH reports that the Wests Tigers have also retracted their contract offer for the New South Wales youngster after they felt as though their offer was being used as a back-up alternative.
Writing in an online column for SBS six months ago, Australian dual code international Timana Tahu said that Mitchell should be a high priority target for RA.
“For the next high-profile player that they wanna look at, throw big money at, I’d be looking at Latrell,” Tahu wrote.
“It’d be a massive loss for rugby league, but for rugby union, he’d bring a new audience, new sponsorship and help change the Wallabies.
“It’s perfect timing because there are two or three years for him to get his game knowledge up … the next World Cup is in 2023
“In terms of his union success, I just see his kicking skills, as well as his passing skills, being valuable. He’s tall, he’s fast, he’s big — he’s made for rugby union.
“In my opinion, if you were at Rugby Australia you should be doing everything you could to get him across…
“He could be a dominating centre in an Australian Super Rugby team, plus he would be an attribute for the Wallabies.
“I think his profile would bring a lot to the Wallabies too, on and off the field.”
The Tigers have stated that they would be willing to renegotiate a new offer if Mitchell expressed a desire to move to the club, but a move to any other team in the NRL would be highly dependent on player movements across the league leading into next season.
Such a complex process of player transfers could play a helping hand in a possible switch to rugby union, but that would likely come down to how RA see Mitchell fitting into their plans.
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