Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell seems very unlikely to return to action in time for Origin II.
New South Wales coach Brad Fittler is set to replace the Origin I Blues team on Wednesday night – and “it makes a lot of sense”.
Speaking of switches, Queensland coach Billy Slater has confirmed that the backline weapon will play on the opposite side from the one in the club country.
Meanwhile, after years of playing for Fittler’s side, Josh Addo-Carr continues to gain a lot of recognition despite his hard ax.
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LATRELL’S ORIGIN II CHANCE SLIM
Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou said Latrell Mitchell was “almost without a chance” to return to Origin II in time for Sunday II after a hamstring injury.
Mitchell was eliminated from this weekend’s game for the Rabbitohs after he contracted Covid-19, but Demetriou said Sydney Morning Herald the superstar defender will probably return to action in the 16th round – after Origin II.
“He has almost no chance (for Round 15 Dragons). We are getting a farewell week, so he is looking more at the 16th round, “said Demetriou.
“I would say he would have almost no chance to play Origin (Game 2).
“He did a lot of work to gain strength in his ATV and did the work he needed to do to run properly, which he did.” But he didn’t do the rugby league training.
“We have two matches and then another goodbye, so it’s a good time for us to make sure we heal him mainly from Covid and then come back and be fit so we can play for a massive back-end in a year.”
NRL 360’s Braith Anasta said Monday night that if Mitchell was to be ready for Match 2 in time, he would choose him for the Blues – if they lose Wednesday – without any playing time on the club floor.
“If they lose Game 1 and I’m Freddy, he did the job at Origin, I personally don’t care if he’s playing or not – I know it’s a weapon, he’s a superstar – I’d choose him,” Anasta said. .
“But Souths has indicated he won’t be ready.”
However, Paul Kent thinks it would be a “big leap of confidence” from NSW coaching staff, as Mitchell would probably need some time to regain his wrestling condition.
“I would be reluctant to choose him based on the fact that he is not the guy you would consider naturally appropriate,” Kent said.
“He is a guy who plays in fitness, even though he looks fit in the past, it usually takes him a few games to start.
“I’m just saying I don’t think Freddy will rush him back to Game 2 without the game for the best part of eight weeks.”
SLATER CONFIRMS COATING SWITCHING
Queensland coach Billy Slater has confirmed that Xavier Coates will play on the left wing to allow debutant Selwyn Cobb to play on his preferred right wing.
The questions were about who would pass, as both Coates and Cobbo play for their clubs on the right (Storm and Broncos), but Slater told Channel 9’s. Sunday Footy Show that Coates will move to the left.
It comes after it was announced last week that Cobbo trained on the right wing during the first training, and the Coates on the left.
CRICHTON OR WIGHTON?
There are growing rumors that Brad Fittler will back down on one of his most controversial selection decisions and instead let Panthers shooter Stephen Crichton start in the center instead of Jack Wighton.
Phil Rothfield told Sky Sports Radio’s this morning Great sports breakfast: “We still hear that Stephen Crichton will not take his place on the bench and will actually be in the starting line-up and will play on Wednesdays. And Jack Wighton returns to the bench.
“I think it makes a lot of sense, his relationship with half the Penriths and Brian To’o and Isaah Ye is the way forward.”
“It simply came to our notice then. I’m not critical of Jack Wighton at all. He’s a great player and you know he’ll do his job there.
“But I just like combinations. One thing (that) NSW has an advantage over Queenslanders with that Penrith combination. They’ve been the best all year, it’s the best four or five players at Penrith, and they should all be on the court together. “
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Wighton has 9 Origin caps on his account and plays for the Blues five times in the center. NSW Assistant Greg Alexander told SEN Radio last week:
“It was a very difficult decision who should fill the positions of Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic, who were the centers in all three matches last year.
“I think the fact that Jack has played centers on five occasions and done a good job is just what Jack’s energy, the aggressive nature he plays, and Stephen is here to cover places on the outermost defender, wing or center.
“Jack won it thanks to the aggressive way he plays football, energetically, loves chasing kicks, that’s a big part of Origin.
“A big part of Origin is not the skills you bring to the game, but what you do for your teammates.
“Jack and I went in this.”
GREAT praised the FOXX REACTION
Josh Addo-Carr may have been on all of the NRL’s State of Origin marketing materials this year, but will not attend Origin I.
His reaction to the ax from the Blues was nothing short of professional and humble.
Phil Rothfield, who was returning from a trip to Melbourne to watch George Kambosos, was overwhelmed to see the Bulldogs’ veteran flyer communicate with fans at the airport.
Rothfield told Big Sports Breakfast: “I ran into him at the airport, Joshi Addo-Carre. I’ve never seen anyone take as much selfie as he did.
“Despite what happened, he has a smile on his face.” He’s having fun with punters.
“The way he acted – I interviewed him last week – isn’t dirty on the Blues at all.” He will still sit there and encourage them, desperate for the victory of the NSW. He wants his place back (but) I really admire the way he hijacked this failure. “
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GRANT GIVE GREEN LIGHT
Harry Grant of Queensland said he was fully fit for the game even after recovering from the flu and groin injuries. The 24-year-old arrived at Maroons Base in Sanctuary Cove last Wednesday due to his illness and injuries, but is only rare.
And Rothfield confirmed this morning that the Storm Rake would be right when he came off the bench with Ben Hunt starting on a hooker.
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