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Latrell Mitchell arrived in Indigenous All Stars camp to declare how one month under Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett has him ready to play out of his skin and "change the game for big fullbacks".

When the 22-year-old gave his first press conference at Redfern last month he outlined how he wanted to challenge himself in a new position of fullback at a club that he felt was the right fit for him.

Mitchell will get his first hit-out at fullback on Saturday against the Maori All Stars on the Gold Coast.

He spoke outside his Broadbeach hotel on Monday of how much Bennett’s magic dust had him in the right frame of mind, after just four weeks of interaction with a coach he had not previously met.

"It is just the way Wayne goes about his business. People just want to play for him. I haven’t even played yet and I want to play for him," Mitchell said.

"He does some pretty freaky stuff. Just the things he says and the conversations he can have with you just flicks a switch and makes you a happy person. It changes your whole day.

All Stars: Where it all began

"I’ve just been learning a lot. He’d been in the game for however long he’s been doing it. He started [coaching] at the age of 27. I’ve heard his story and it is awesome.

"He knows how to manage people. I am really close friends with James Roberts, and the things he’s done with that man... he is just an awesome coach.

"To be under him is just fun. It is a good vibe. I love being at Souths at the moment just with the things he does and the yarns he has.

“I’ve got a few more weeks to get some fitness under my belt and the sky is the limit for me."

Mitchell has also learned plenty this pre-season from Greg Inglis, now in the Rabbitohs coaching staff, about fullback play.

"There are different fullbacks. These days you have Teddy [James Tedesco]. You had Billy Slater, and they are all nippy fellas," Mitchell said.

"Greg changed the game for big fullbacks. That is where I am at. I am not the little nippy fella. I just want to be smart. I just need to be in position earlier and make the job easier.

"I know for Teddy and [smaller fullbacks] they can whip and get around corners. That is how they are and that is how they’ve been playing it for years but I just want to change the game for big fullbacks.

"Just [Inglis's] running game and the things he could do... he was just a freak you can’t really explain.

"Everyone knows who he is and everyone is going to know in the next 10 years for everything he has done in the game."

Inglis and Mitchell were rivals in 2019 and are now working closely together.
Inglis and Mitchell were rivals in 2019 and are now working closely together. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Mitchell is hoping to leave a similar legacy himself after parting ways with the club where he won two premierships as a centre to take himself out of his comfort zone.

"That was the whole point. I wanted to move clubs and challenge myself," he said.

"I was just getting complacent with what I was doing and centre wasn’t cutting it for me. It was just a routine.

"There are no hard feelings. I gave my all for the Roosters. They gave me an opportunity to crack first grade and that is what I am grateful for.

"All I can say about them is that they are a good club, really professional in their ways and know how to manage a footballer."

Mitchell intends to embrace his All Stars week and set himself up for what he hopes is a season to remember after a tumultuous off-season.

"I just got in [to camp] and there is already a really good vibe. I’m just happy to be around it. I love these weeks where it kicks off my season happy," he said.

"Obviously it is a good environment I am in now [at Souths]. I went through a lot of stuff and had good people around me. Now I have a good team around me and I am really enjoying what’s ahead."

Get your tickets to see the best of the NRL’s Indigenous and Mãori players going head to head at Cbus Super Stadium on February 22

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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