Suspended South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell might not be able to play in Sunday’s NRL grand final, but he’s doing his bit to help the team before they take on the Penrith Panthers.
Mitchell’s season ended prematurely after he copped a six-week suspension for a controversial tackle on Roosters centre Joseph Manu.
Mitchell hasn’t abandoned his teammates though. He’s been by their side every step of the way in training.
“I’ve been training hard against them and I’m not holding back for them,” Mitchell told Nine News.
“I want them to go into this game knowing they’ve done everything possible and I’ve done everything in my power to get these boys ready to be able to perform on Sunday.”
Despite missing out on the last few rounds of the year and the finals, the Rabbitohs were able to progress to the season finale with youngster Blake Taaffe taking Mitchell’s spot at fullback.
Like many, Mitchell has been impressed by Taaffe’s performance in his absence and believes the 22-year-old can continue his good form against the Panthers, and under the high bombs of Penrith halfback, Nathan Cleary.
“He has a bit of belief in his catch, he’s trained, he knows what he’s got to do,” Mitchell said. “He’s played fullback for most of his life, so catching a ball shouldn’t be too hard.”
The tough pill to swallow for Mitchell is not being able to play in the grand final with teammate and friend, Souths five-eighth Cody Walker.
“With Codes we’ve been having a good yarn and that’s the saddest thing is not being there with him to share that moment, but you know I’m so happy for him.
“We debuted in the same game and it would have been so nice to be there beside him for this game in the grand final.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!