Latrell Mitchell's classy act for replacement comes to light amid NRL suspension

The classy act from the fullback has emerged amid all the criticism over his position at the Rabbitohs.

Latrell Mitchell may be under siege for his performances in recent weeks with the Rabbitohs in turmoil after a horror start, but the fullback's classy detail for Jye Gray has come to light. Mitchell has been heavy criticised in 2024 after a number of poor performance in the No.1 jersey.

The Rabbitohs fullback then found himself under more criticism after a disastrous game against the Warriors, which saw him suspended for three weeks for an elbow on Shaun Johnson. Mitchell's dedication to the game has been questioned since the weekend, by the likes of Phil Gould, with many asking whether his head is in the game.

Latrell Mitchell and Jye Gray.
Latrell Mitchell (R) and Jye Gray (L). Image: AAP/Getty

Jason Demetriou has also dropped Damien Cook in what appears to be a must-win game for the under pressure coach against the Sharks. And Demetriou has opted to hand Gray his debut at fullback in Mitchell's absence.

However, David Riccio has claimed Mitchell isn't shying away from his role as a leader at the Rabbitohs and is set to help debutant Gray throughout the next three games. Gray has plenty of hype around him ahead of his Rabbitohs debut, but he also enters a team that is 1-4 and struggling taken on the reins.

The Rabbitohs play the Sharks, Penrith and the Storm in the next three games and Gray has an opportunity to make the fullback position his own. There has been growing calls for Mitchell to move back to the centres - a position he dominated at the Roosters - and Gray could use the next three games as a potential career catapult.

And to show his dedication, Riccio claims Mitchell is ready to guide the fullback in training to support his progress. Mitchell will also work to get himself in peak shape for his eventual return in round nine.

On NRL 360, reporter Brent Read claimed Mitchell had spoken to the Rabbitohs hierarchy after his three-game suspension and was ready to show he can still be a leader at the club. “There’s speculation that Latrell’s over footy but one thing that came out of the meeting was that Latrell is committed to the club, committed to rugby league and committed to getting back to the Latrell Mitchell that helps the footy club be successful,” Read said.

“They reached the point where even people close to Latrell is telling him that things need to change. What happened on the weekend wasn’t good enough, and it wasn’t acceptable and I think that’s a change in that camp as I don’t think we’ve heard that out of that camp before”.

Promising star Jye Gray to debut against Sharks

Demetriou will hope 20-year-old fullback Gray steps in and turns around the woeful attack of the Rabbitohs against the Sharks. The fullback 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.


Deemtriou will also be hoping Pete Mamouzelos does the job in replacement for veteran Cook. And teammate Saliva Havili has given Mamouzelos high praise heading into a must-win game. “Cookie, like the true professional he is, will take it on the chin and do whatever it is that he needs to do,” Havili said on Tuesday.

Latrell Mitchell trains.
Latrell Mitchell (pictured) will be helping Jye Gray out during training ahead of the 20-year-old's debut.

“We’re pretty excited for Pete (Mamouzelos, who replaces Cook), He's a confident young kid in his craft as a hooker and I like the way he plays the game from nine. He plays what he sees. He’s a different type of hooker compared to Cookie, speed wise, but he's still got speed.

"He’s pretty crafty, too. “He's won Flegg, he’s won Under 20s and NSW Cup, so he’s made the right moves heading into the direction of an NRL player. It’s an exciting opportunity for him now.”