Coach Trent Robinson has described Latrell Mitchell's attitude as "incredible" after the 19-year-old was left out of the Roosters squad for the Good Friday clash against the Newcastle Knights.
Mitchell burst onto the scene last year and was one of the shining lights in an otherwise tough season for the Tricolours, with the rookie sensation one of three Roosters to play all 24 games in 2016.
The Indigenous All Star had a scorching start to the 2017 season scoring five tries in the opening month – including a hat-trick against the Titans in his side's season opener – but has struggled to maintain that form in recent weeks.
Mitchell was caught out defensively by Sea Eagles centre Dylan Walker in Round 5 and came up with some poor options against the Broncos last week on a night that saw him miss two tackles and produce three errors before being taken off with 10 minutes to play.
As a result, Mitchell has been left out of the team for Friday's game in Newcastle, but in a telling sign, he hasn't been named in the Holden Cup or Intrust Super Premiership sides either.
Robinson wouldn't say whether his young centre had been dropped or simply rested but praised the young gun for the way in which he had responded.
"He's a 19-year-old guy but he knows his footy and he knows himself really well," Robinson said on Thursday morning.
"He's worked hard this week and has been really clear on what he needs to do and he's got on with the job. He's a pretty impressive guy for his age and that's why we've seen the way that he has been over the last year-and-a-half.
"Latrell has had a great month of footy [but] he's probably been off the past couple of weeks. He's not playing [on Friday] so it's not about form or going back and proving anything, he just needs a week off and he'll get back into it soon.
"He played all 24 games last year and developed well. He's a future star of our game, I hope, but it's just part of his development.
"We've had a good discussion about it and he's pretty clear on what he needs to do and so are we. He just needs a rest this weekend and then get back into it.
"He's an NRL player through and through so we expect [him] to just take a breath and get going again."
In an environment where coaches have to deal with seasoned veterans, fringe first-graders and stars of the future on a daily basis, you'd think that Robinson would have to tread carefully when dealing with someone as young as Mitchell.
"Sometimes you do, but not with Latrell,' he said.
"It's just pretty straight and honest with him. He's a hard character and deals with things well. There are different ways that you deal with people but he's pretty straight down the line and that's what makes him such a strong guy."