'He delivers in big games': Latrell Mitchell backed to make comeback in the Origin arena
South Sydney centre Campbell Graham has insisted that Latrell Mitchell could easily make his comeback from injury in State of Origin if the Rabbitohs change their tune on the club’s marquee man.
Mitchell was back at South Sydney training on Monday, getting through light drills away from the squad after overcoming a hamstring injury and COVID-19.
The Rabbitohs will take the cautious path with their No.1, keeping him out of Thursday night’s clash with St George Illawarra.
Coach Jason Demetriou is also adamant he does not want Mitchell playing in Origin the following week for NSW, after having not run out since April 9.
Instead, South Sydney are eying a round-16 return against Parramatta, giving Mitchell one match before potentially playing in Game III for the Blues.
Mitchell would be a walk-up start for NSW if available, particularly given the way the Blues missed his spark in their Game I loss in Sydney last week.
And Graham has no doubt Mitchell could still add that in Perth for NSW, even if he was to come in without an NRL game under his belt.
“I think he could. Obviously Origin is intense, but Latrell has been training hard,” Graham said.
“I know he hasn’t been playing footy for the last month and a bit but he delivers in big games.
“I am sure Latrell would step up and take that on.”
Graham also indicated he believed Mitchell should be granted some say on whether he is available for NSW, in consultation with Souths medical staff.
“That is a decision Latrell will have to make,” Graham said.
“I wouldn’t think twice, he would get to represent his state which is unreal.
“Obviously we would want to have him back in a Rabbitohs jersey soon, so he would have to talk to coaches about that.”
Complicating the matter further for Blues coach Brad Fittler is the fact Souths trainer Travis Touma is on his staff, acting in the same role for the Blues.
Meanwhile, if NSW do make changes in the centres, Graham could be the man to benefit if Mitchell is not made available.
The centre continues to have the backing of Souths teammates for the role, with Queensland fringe forward Jai Arrow insistent NSW selectors should forget MItchell for Game II and go with Graham.
“I feel like I am ready to play rep footy. If that call comes, it comes,” Graham said.
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