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Sydney Roosters fullback Latrell Mitchell eyes off rare NRL feat for teenagers

Games spree: Latrell Mitchell. Photo: Getty Images Round 17: How the teams match upPhil Gould: Why Blues must win Origin IIIAndrew Webster: Gallen’s true importance to the NRL
Nanjing Night Net

Teenage prodigy Latrell Mitchell will resist any urgings from coach Trent Robinson to be rested even if the Roosters’ faint finals hopes are extinguished, pledging to play every game in his maiden NRL season despite admitting his body is “feeling it”.

Mitchell would have only just scraped past an eligibility clause under former NRL head of strategy Shane Richardson’s blueprint for the future – which recommends that teenagers be prevented from graduating to the top grade until the year they turn 19 – but it hasn’t stopped the Roosters No.1 setting an ambitious goal for the rest of the season.

A rare shining light in an otherwise dismal year for the club, Mitchell said he would convey a desire to play all 24 games in his maiden year after being thrown in the deep end as Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s successor. “I was meant to have a week off with my ankle [against the Storm], but I thought, ‘nah, I want to play every game and try to push through it’,” he said. “I made a goal to play every game this year.

“It hasn’t even been a full season and I’m feeling it. It’s tough on the body – and mentally as well. You’re constantly thinking about what your job is and what you need to do for the boys. It’s hard, but good at the same time. And it’s what you work hard for. When I started I jumped straight into fullback and didn’t know what I was doing. It was a massive step from being a 20s fullback and then straight into first grade.

“I’ve learnt a lot each week – just sitting down with [Anthony] Minichiello and Robbo – it’s about the little details. Every week I’m getting better and better at what I want to do and my job as well.”

The 19-year-old made use of the Roosters’ bye week to return to Taree and the school where his father Matt works, visiting old schoolmates who were in grades below him before he headed to Sydney. “Hopefully it puts a little goal in their head and shows what you can achieve in life,” Mitchell said. “Going back it keeps me grounded. My mother and father [keep me in check].”

NSW winger Blake Ferguson will return to the Roosters fold on the wing after State of Origin duties, but the hosts are not expecting Boyd Cordner to recover for the clash with the in-form Bulldogs at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night.

The Roosters need to win nine of their last 10 matches to even harbour a slight hope of reaching the finals and will welcome back Mitchell Pearce. “With Mitchell back, this is probably one of the strongest sides they have fielded this year – all bar Boyd Cordner – they are coming off the bye and they should be pretty fired up,” Hasler said.

“I imagine Mitchell will want to play as much football as he can. Any rugby league player is at their happiest when they are playing footy and he will want to get out there and make every minute count.”​

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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