You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Souths players are predicting the return of star fullback Latrell Mitchell for Thursday night’s trip to Melbourne to provide an immediate lift for the team after their shock opening round loss to the Broncos.

The 2021 grand finalists went down 11-4 in Brisbane last Friday night and will be aiming to hose down talk about the impact of former captain and playmaker Adam Reynolds departure for the Broncos by overcoming the Storm at AAMI Park.

The Rabbitohs will be boosted by the return of Mitchell from a six-match suspension for a tackle that left his former Sydney Roosters team-mate Joey Manu with a fractured cheekbone and he is expected to provide added attacking spark.

Latrell Mitchell
Latrell Mitchell ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

The Storm welcome back Cameron Munster, Harry Grant and Chris Lewis from suspension, while captain Jesse Bromwich (COVID) is also expected to be available, but they have lost Christian Welch (Achilles), winger George Jennings (knee) and Brandon Smith (hand).

England Test prop Tom Burgess said his Souths team-mates couldn’t rely on Mitchel to win the game for them but his influence on the side would make a difference.

“He's an outstanding player, he'd lift any team with him at the back there,” Burgess said. “He'll be bringing the ball back strong and getting us on the front foot. He's got great skill, as well.

“He's freakish, what he can do. He can influence teams. We're not a one-man team but Latrell is obviously very influential, not only on the field but off the field too. He's big for our team and we want him on the field more than off it.

“We're not expecting him to come on and win the game for us, just come on and do his job for the team. That's all he'll be looking to do this weekend.”

Match Highlights: Broncos v Rabbitohs

With his return getting close, Mitchell has been ensuring the intensity at Souths’ training is high and he was involved in an exchange with second-rower Jacob Host last week that prop Mark Nicholls said showed he was ready to play.

“He'll be good for us coming back. We can't expect too much from him, but just his presence in the team will lift the guys no doubt,” Nicholls said.

“Him and Hosty are both keen to play footy and it was good to see the boys ripping in for once.

“You've got 36 guys that want to be in the team and all throughout the year, 36 guys that want to play NRL, and you can only pick 17. There's always going to be guys competing hard and that's what we want. That's how you get better.”

Alex Johnston, who played fullback against the Broncos, said the Rabbitohs were looking forward to playing alongside Mitchell for the first time in seven months after he was rubbed out of last season’s finals series and this year’s All Stars match, as well as the opening round.

“He'll bring a lot of aggression and passion, he definitely lifts us in the sheds and on the field and we can't wait to get him back really,” Johnston said. “He's the most talented for sure and when he's on he's the most damaging player for sure.”

Acknowledgement of Country

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.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

VIEW ALL PARTNERS