Latrell's rise fills Robinson with pride
While the talk has been directed mostly towards former Sydney Roosters star Mitchell Pearce before his return to Allianz Stadium to take on the Newcastle Knights, for centre Latrell Mitchell, the hyped-up clash also quietly mark his 50th NRL appearance.
The centre recently re-signed until the end of the 2020 season with the Tricolours and Roosters coach Trent Robinson’s beams when speaking about the 20-year-old rising star.
''We talked about it this morning, how a lot of people look at it [Mitchell's skills] as talent, but not many see how much training he does and how hard he works,” Robinson said on the eve of Sunday's highly anticipated duel.
''That's how you play 50 games at 20 years old and we've seen improvement in that as well.
''He's not finished, he's not relying on what he's done already. It's a big occasion and I'm pretty interested to see the 50 to 100 as well. It’s good that he's resigned and he's talked positively about this place being his home.''
Robinson credited the club's family values as a big reason why Mitchell chose to stay even after James Tedesco was signed in the off-season to play fullback - a role Mitchell used to thrive in.
''I'm pretty excited that Latrell has hit 50 and it's a credit to him and his family but also to the club and his development,'' Robinson said.
''He's dangerous when the game is on the line for opposition teams. It's been between 18 and 20 years old where the worth ethic has kicked in. He's one of the last to leave the training field every day, something people wouldn't assume about Latrell Mitchell.''
The Roosters will face a Knights team riding high after two straight wins but the Roosters' win over Canterbury gave their fans a glimpse of their potential after a shock loss to the Wests Tigers in round one.
''We set up a training style here which is about effort and work which I imagine most teams do, but mostly about knowing how to train hard,'' he said.
''But Latrell has done that [on his own]. He's always been one of the last to leave since he began training with us.''