Mitchell ready to face predecessor RTS
Sydney Roosters livewire Latrell Mitchell is ready for whatever is thrown at him this week by Warriors star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, the man whose departure from the Roosters allowed for Mitchell's own NRL debut a month ago.
Tuivasa-Sheck shocked the rugby league fraternity midway through last season when he announced he'd signed with the Warriors, though his departure didn't come before handing down some thoughtful advice to 18-year-old Mitchell.
"It was good to have Roger around because of the advice he was able to hand down to me," Mitchell told NRL.com.
"Roger's only going to get better as well as he gets older. You can see what he's done so far, he's an amazing player and an idol of the game.
"It will be good to play him this weekend. I can't wait; he'll come out and have a cracker of a game against his old club. It'll be a good challenge for me personally too."
Like Tuivasa-Sheck, Mitchell left home early for the sake of his rugby league career.
Mitchell came to live in Sydney permanently when he was 16 from the NSW mid-north coast town of Taree. Initially moving to Blacktown, Mitchell has since found a home in Maroubra with his brother – the two siblings relying on one another when times get tough.
"[Blacktown] was too much for me with all the travel, time and petrol I was wasting. I was getting exhausted all the time. Every morning I had to wake up early to beat the traffic," Mitchell said.
"When I moved down too I was like 'wow' because Sydney wasn't like anything I'd ever expected. Even before I moved down I thought Sydney was massive. As soon as I made that step to move I knew I had to do it to pursue my dreams.
"I knew I had to sacrifice living at home to get where I wanted to be. At the same time it's hard for a young kid, especially me being an indigenous kid, to move out of my local area. But I knew I had to do it.
"My brother and I now know we're down here for a reason to enjoy ourselves and make a living. Now that I'm in the NRL I'm loving life."
Still just four games into his NRL career, Mitchell had played only one first-grade match on the wing when Roosters coach Trent Robinson handed him the No.1 jersey that had once belonged to Tuivasa-Sheck.
The teenager has been repaying Robinson's faith since then, averaging 104104 metres and 4.75 tackle breaks per game thus far.
"When Robbo said I was ready for the challenge I was a bit nervous. But I had to deal with it. In a sense I thought I was ready too but at the same time I just wanted to enjoy my footy," Mitchell said.
"It's been pretty full on. The contact and everything I'm still getting used to but I love it.
"I've only just turned 18 so I'm getting whacked and thinking nothing of it in the moment but as soon as it's over I'm like 'whoa what is going on?' because I get so sore," he added with a laugh.
Having dominated at under-20s level in the fullback role, Mitchell said the move from the wing to the centre of the park had actually made life easier.
"The wing position wasn't easy. You have to be on the ball when they come out to your wing. It was hard for me to sort of watch all these big fellas run down the edge at me.
"Now I'm playing fullback though I feel way more comfortable."