Andrew Johns drops harsh NRL truth on Latrell Mitchell as Rabbitohs urged to make changes

The NRL legend has questioned whether the Rabbitohs coach needs to make a big call.

Andrew Johns has questioned whether Latrell Mitchell should move back to the centres as Billy Slater has called for the Rabbitohs to make changes to the line-up. Mitchell was hit with a three-week ban for his rogue elbow on Shaun Johnson on Saturday.

Johnson was on the ground in pain and gestured towards the referee after he was elbowed making the tackle on Mitchell. The Rabbitohs fullback was put on report for the first time in the game - he was put on report a second time later in the half - and ended up copping a three-week ban for the elbow.

Latrell Mitchell celebrates and Andrew Johns reacts.
Andrew Johns (pictured right) and Billy Slater have called for the Rabbitohs to make changes with Johns claiming Latrell Mitchell (pictured left) could move back to centre after his suspension. (Getty Images)

Mitchell's three games come at a pivotal time for the Rabbitohs with coach Jason Demetriou's job reportedly on the line in the next game against the Sharks. The Rabbitohs follow the Sharks clash up with a game against the Storm then the reigning champions Penrith.

While Demetriou has a huge decision to make on who should take the No.1 jersey in the superstar's absence, champion fullback Slater has admitted he can't believe Mitchell only received three weeks for the elbow.

Speaking on The Sunday Footy Show, Slater said claimed the fullback was 'very lucky' he didn't break Johnson's jaw. "I think he is very lucky, number one because he has only got three weeks on the sideline.

"And he is very lucky Shaun Johnson did not broken his jaw, because he would be missing half the season if he did. He knew it straight away. He knew it straight away. This is pure frustration out of how he is playing and how his team is playing."

Slater claimed Mitchell needs to use his time away from the game to work on some areas and improve. The Maroons coach also believes the Rabbitohs can use the opportunity to make some changes in key positions for the struggling outfit.

"I think this is a great for both Latrell and the South Sydney Rabbitohs to reset their season. Latrell needs to go away and you would like to think he is going to work on the areas of his game that he sees are important.

"And for the Rabbitohs I think it is a great way for to throw a cat amongst pigeons and change some spots." Slater said he would move Jack Wighton closer to the ball at five-eighth and move Cody Walker to halfback.

Latrell Mitchell reacts.
There have been growing calls Latrell Mitchell (pictured) should move to centre for the Rabbitohs.

Andrew Johns questions Latrell Mitchell at fullback

NRL legend Johns admitted Jason Demetriou will have to decide on whether Mitchell should come back into the fullback role after the three week suspension. Johns admitted Jye Gray deserves a run at the role for the next three weeks after his super form in the NSW Cup.

Rabbitohs fans have been desperately calling for Demetriou to shift Mitchell to the centres for some time with young gun Jye Gray to take the No.1 jersey. Gray's performance could determine how the Rabbitohs proceed going forward with a growing number of fans calling for Mitchell to move back into the centres where he dominated earlier in his career.


Gray scored a try, had an assist, made four linebreaks, provided a linebreak assist and ran for 271 running metres in the NSW Cup on the same day the Rabbitohs lost 48-6 against the Warriors. And Johns believes if he can replicate this form, Mitchell might have to move back to the centre role on current form.

"The discussion has to be does Latrell goes back to centre when he comes back from his suspension," Johns questioned. When asked whether Mitchell should move to centre. Johns admitted maybe he should.

"The way he is playing at the moment, I think so. A lot depends on Jye Gray and how he goes." Slater admitted Gray will add some energy to the fullback role. Demetriou is expected to select Gray in the fullback role, but Mitchell's attacking strength will be missed next week.