Burgess hints at Mitchell return to centre

Laine Clark
Sam Burgess has hinted at Latrell Mitchell switching back to his usual centre role from fullback

Following a string of controversies, South Sydney assistant Sam Burgess says Latrell Mitchell may be switched back to the centres to help him "smile again".

Mitchell's well-being has come under the spotlight after making headlines for the wrong reasons, prompting Rabbitohs captain Adam Reynolds to compare media scrutiny surrounding the NRL star to that endured by Michael Jordan.

Reynolds claimed his teammate had been "harrassed" by the media after copping criticism over drawn out contract talks, a fullback switch and his infamous camping trip which breached social distancing laws.

Ex-skipper Burgess said after welcoming Mitchell back to training this week ahead of the May 28 NRL re-start they still planned to feature the game breaker at fullback.

But Burgess hinted that an eventual switch back to the centres may be in the besieged Mitchell's best interests.

"(Coach) Wayne (Bennett) says he is going to be fullback, but at the end of the day we have to do what is best for Latrell, what Latrell wants," Burgess told Fox League's The Late Show.

"If the demand is too much for him at fullback then let's play him in the centres, let's make him smile again and be happy."

Former Brisbane captain Justin Hodges - who played under Wayne Bennett - said Mitchell had the right mentor to guide him out of his tough period but admitted a positional change may also help.

"He's got the right coach there who can take the punches for him. He just needs to figure out where he fits in the game, whether it be centre or fullback," Hodges told Fox League Live.

"He's just got to get back to enjoying his football."

Former NRL star Braith Anasta believed Mitchell would be in a "dark place" but it was up to him to fix it.

"Every sportsperson is going to go through adversity, it is how you respond to that," he told Fox League Live.

"It comes down to your resilience and that is what he needs to improve on."

Former Sydney Roosters teammate Cooper Cronk backed Mitchell to prove his critics wrong.

"When you go through a tough spot in your career there's only way you can get out of it - find your reason why (you play)," he said.

"Prove people wrong, work for your teammates, provide for your family - whatever that reason is, hone in on it.

"Get up at 5am, go to bed at 7pm with that singular focus of getting yourself out of it."