Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has confirmed Latrell Mitchell won't back up for Sunday's clash against the Panthers in Penrith but insists the latest situation around the star centre had been blown out of proportion.
Robinson refuted suggestions the club was unhappy with Mitchell for failing to return to Sydney on Thursday following the Blues four-point loss to Queensland in Origin I after the star centre came under fire for his own performance.
Mitchell travelled to hometown Taree after the defeat with Robinson declaring James Tedesco's ability to back up this week enabled him to allow the 21-year-old a rest as per the Roosters pre-planned rotation system.
"He was on NSW time, that's the funny thing about this whole thing," Robinson said on Saturday.
"We get called on Thursday morning about what Latrell's movements were. He was due back with us yesterday [Friday], that was the plan with Boyd [Cordner], Teddy and Angus [Crichton].
"I know there's some interest with the story but that had nothing to do with us. As soon as Teddy got through I said [to Latrell] 'I'll see you next week'.
Panthers v Roosters - Round 13
"I've spoken to him a couple of times, he's disappointed like a lot of the Blues boys are and we had a good chat. He asked me what I wanted him to do and I told him to take some time off and I'll see you next week.
"It was really simple but it got blown out of proportion which is interesting and always the case. People want to read about that stuff."
The Roosters will also rest Blues forward Angus Crichton, with club on Saturday having a request to replace Crichton in their 19-man squad with Josh Curran granted by the NRL.
Mitchell struggled to make an impact for NSW in the series opener which led Blues coach Brad Fittler to say he needed to find his motivation again.
"I've spoken to Freddy about those comments and you know, there were 17 guys who played in that team the other night," Robinson said.
"I think we've got to remember that. To isolate that is not how it should be. The guy is 21, no one peaks until they're 24-25. He's peaked at 21, won lots of big games right from a young age through until now.
"And he'll continue to do that. There has been talk about how we've felt about it too. Pardon the French but it's a load of crap. You've got to support people in both times and that's what we'll do with Latrell.
"Obviously he had a big game against the Tigers [last month] and as he should, he got the raps. A lot of stuff has come with that. He's working through the season like every other player.
"He's a fan favourite and a favourite of the media for everyone to talk about and speculate. What he goes through is quite public and that's the case again."
NSW captain Boyd Cordner and fullback James Tedesco are now set to line up for the Roosters on Sunday. Cordner had a light jog on Saturday morning after picking up an ankle injury in Wednesday night's clash.
"Angus [was] on standby for Boyd, it was always going to be two to play, and two to not. I've been open about that rotation, it will happen and in the future as well," Robinson said.