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Latrell Mitchell is back running and on track for a return later this month as he opened up about the frustrations of having to miss matches for South Sydney and NSW because of injury.
The Souths’ pin-up also spoke glowingly about the club’s latest rookie, Tyrone Munro, who like Mitchell debuted as an Indigenous 18-year-old winger from the bush and will start again on Saturday against Canterbury.
Mitchell was forced to pull out of both Origin camps because of a calf injury, but has since increased his workload in a bid to be back on deck for the round-21 clash against the Broncos on the Sunshine Coast.
“Flat tyres for the Ferrari,” was how a smiling Mitchell described his latest setback to this masthead before the RLPA introduced its ban on players speaking to media.
“I’m going well, I’ve got a few more weeks, but I won’t rush anything – you don’t win comps in July.
“I can pretty much do everything [now] but not being there for your teammates is the most frustrating part.
“I owe this club a lot. I also love Origin, [NSW coach Brad] Fittler knows that, he knows how proud I am to wear the Blues jersey.
“But it is what it is at the moment. Things happen for reason and it’s not my time.
“I want to get everything right and be there for the end of the season.”
Latrell Mitchell is on track to return from a calf injury.Credit: Getty
Mitchell suffered a calf injury on the Sunday before Origin I and became emotional the following morning when informing the Blues he would not be joining them for the flight to Adelaide.
He then pulled up tight and made the call himself just 24 hours into Origin II camp. The 26-year-old said there had been no fresh setbacks with his calf.
The immediate focus, he said, had been on his rehabilitation and to remain upbeat around his teammates.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese opens the Rabbitohs’ new training centre last Saturday.Credit: South Sydney Rabbitohs
The enforced time off will also have him mentally fresh for when he does return, which will include an extended five-week road trip, starting on the Sunshine Coast, followed by games in Tamworth, Perth, Cairns and then Newcastle.
“I’m pretty happy and content with where I am, and I’m really proud of the person I can be around my teammates,” Mitchell said.
“I want to be there for them, and try to bring that energy and make sure there’s a lot of motivation around the club.”
One of the feel-good stories for Souths was the debut of Munro last Friday against the Warriors.
Tyrone Munro celebrates a try for the Rabbitohs on debut.Credit: Getty
Word of Munro’s debut leaked the day before, and it was the community newspaper in his old home town, the Moree Champion, that had the scoop.
The speedster who was only identified after trying his luck at an open Harold Matthews trial at the end of 2020 has forged a close bond with Mitchell and Cody Walker.
“I love him [Munro], his father used to run around in Taree, he was only a young fella back then when my dad [Matt] was playing,” Mitchell said.
“It’s great to see a young Moree boy debut.
“He’s a good boy and really confident, which you need when you come in at only 18.
“I was confident coming in at 18 – confidence is key – and that comes from your preparation.
“He’s done well, played through the grades and now transitioned into the NRL in one year. In a matter of three or four weeks he showed he was ready.”
It was hard to tell if Mitchell or Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was more popular with the locals at the official opening of Souths’ new training facility at Heffron Park last weekend, with Albanese telling this masthead at the time: “I’m sure many people, if you did a vote of the people who are here today [on who is more popular], I can’t compete with Latrell.”
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