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Tupou makes grand promise to Latrell

When centre Latrell Mitchell was found guilty and handed a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle on Josh Dugan to rule him out of Saturday's preliminary final, his Roosters teammate Daniel Tupou went to find him.

"We hugged it out and I told him I'd do my best to make him play again this year," Tupou told

"We know we've just got to focus on this game and get the win for him, and Dylan [Napa] as well."

The situation is stark but simple. Lose against South Sydney at Allianz Stadium and not only do Mitchell and Napa not play again but the whole Roosters team misses the Telstra Premiership decider for the fourth time in five years.

But for Tupou it is more personal. He and Mitchell have been the left-side centre-wing combination for 15 games this year – Origin and injury robbing them of more.

"I do really feel for Latrell missing out on such a big occasion," Tupou said.

Roosters v Rabbitohs - Preliminary Final

"It is a massive game but we all have trust in Mitch and obviously I've played a couple of games with him. We gel pretty well so while Latrell is a big loss for us, all is not lost."

The large crowd expected at Allianz Stadium for this preliminary final between the neighbouring clubs will make verbal communication between Aubusson and Tupou hard.

"We'll be sitting down together and getting that combination and connection going. It is going to be a big and loud crowd where we won't be able to hear each other," he said.

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"So a lot will come from instinct from knowing each other's games and from what we've talked about this week at training."

And after the 2018 season is all over, there will be more talking for Tupou with the arrival of Brett Morris from the Bulldogs.

Tupou has played a handful of games on the right but the majority of his seven years with the Roosters has been on the left.

"When that time comes to chat about that, I'll definitely be happy to play anywhere with whatever Brett is comfortable with," Tupou said.

"I know he's a left-edge player, so I'll deal with whichever way the team wants next season."

Tupou's own movements haven't been consigned to just positions on the field with suggestions rival clubs have been trying to lure him away.

"A few of my family mentioned to me they'd heard I was thinking of moving on but it's the first I've heard of it," he told

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"I try to do my own thing and don't listen to fake news. The coach [Trent Robinson] had a chat with me about it but the club hasn't approached me at all."

Tupou is signed for three more years and intends seeing them out in the red, white and blue. 

Saturday's match is being billed as a grudge match between the NRL's oldest rivals but he's not buying into the feud.

"I mean it is great for the game but it seems to me that it stems back to a long way in the past. I must admit though what better way to have the last game on this field [Allianz Stadium] than with two neighbours who haven't always got on."

The stadium will be pulled down later this year and refurbished into a 45,000 seat rectangular venue – due to open in 2022.

Since Tupou may not be playing with the Roosters by then, perhaps a small souvenir might be in order.

"I'll just take a moment on the night to look around and remember all the good times here – keep those in the memory bank."

Rabbitohs v Roosters - Preliminary Final, 2014

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