'Tides are turning': Why Latrell is ready to save NSW

'Tides are turning': Why Latrell is ready to save NSW

Latrell Mitchell believes the adversity he’s faced on and off the football field will hold him in good stead as he prepares for a second coming in the State of Origin arena.

After missing the past two series due to injury, Mitchell was selected for game two by coach Michael Maguire over the weekend in a bid to save the series for NSW.

The polarising Rabbitohs fullback was overlooked for the series opener, but with the Blues in desperate need of X-factor, Maguire had no choice but to recall the superstar.

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And the call itself couldn’t have come at a better time for the 27-year-old.

Latrell Mitchell speaks to the media during NSW Blues camp.  Nine

“It was on my birthday,” Mitchell told 9News Sydney.

“It was probably one of the only presents I got, so it made me happy. I was with my family … I love my family and having them listen in on it was pretty special.”

Mitchell spent three weeks on the sidelines due to suspension this season, but his return at club land for the Bunnies has coincided with the side winning three-straight games.

While his two-year hiatus and constant speculation around his availability for this year’s Origin series have been a bitter pill to swallow, Mitchell admits it will only help him.

“I had to overcome a lot of things,” he said.

“It’s made me more resilient and a bit smarter. Obviously situations happen for a reason, but the tides are turning and now I’m here.”

Watch the 2024 State of Origin series exclusively live and free on Nine and 9Now.

He won’t be the only Mitchell in the side for the must-win clash either, with in-form Parramatta star Mitchell Moses getting the nod to replace Nicho Hynes.

Mitchell Moses in action for the NSW Blues in State of Origin II at Suncorp Stadium in 2023.

Mitchell Moses in action for the NSW Blues in the 2023 series.  NRL Images

The halfback is hopeful his big-game experience at club and rep level will allow him to steer the ship for the Blues and keep the series alive.

“It’s all the moments that you dream of as a kid,” Moses said.

“As a halfback, you want to be in these situations. I’ve taken little bits out of the games I’ve played in and hopefully I can put that all together and take it into this game. 

“It’s a big opportunity for myself and the boys as well – it’s not going to just be one player, it’s gonna be all of us putting in a performance and hopefully we can do that.”

Cameron Murray, Connor Watson and Dylan Edwards are the other fresh faces in the NSW lineup for game two, with former captain James Tedesco one of five omissions.

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