Latrell Mitchell cops State of Origin blow in brutal new twist for maligned NRL star

Many had the South Sydney fullback in their predicted NSW teams - but he appears long odds now.

Lost amid the furore surrounding Latrell Mitchell's latest suspension from the NRL is what it means for his hopes of a State of Origin recall, which have seemingly gone up in smoke. Many in the NRL world have been putting Mitchell in their predicted NSW sides, in what would be his first taste of Origin footy since 2021.

Mitchell has always seemed to rise to the occasion in the Origin arena, and many reckon he would thrive while playing centre for the Blues this year. But his three-game suspension is a massive blow to his hopes of an Origin recall, and the 26-year-old is now long odds to be picked by Michael Maguire.

Latrell Mitchell.
Many have been calling for Latrell Mitchell to return to the State of Origin arena. Image: Getty

Mitchell will miss the next three games for Souths after elbowing Shaun Johnson in the face last weekend. The Rabbitohs have a bye in round seven, meaning Mitchell will be out of action for a total of four weeks.


It means the controversial fullback will have just three games to stake his case for State of Origin selection when he returns, with Game I of the series to be played on June 5. The Rabbitohs will face the Dragons (away), Cowboys (home) and Eels (home) before the team for Game I is picked, and if the Dragons and Eels are still struggling there would seemingly be plenty of opportunities for Mitchell to shine.

But you'd have to think he'll be overtaken in the pecking order during his month on the sidelines, with the likes of Tom Trbojevic, Stephen Crichton, Izack Tago, Bradman Best, Zac Lomax, Kotoni Staggs and Reuben Garrick all pushing for selection in the NSW backline. Maguire will also be asking himself whether he can trust Mitchell in the pressure-cooker environment of Origin, given he's shown he's prone to a brain-snap or two.

Latrell Mitchell, pictured here in action for NSW in the State of Origin series in 2021.
Latrell Mitchell in action for NSW in the State of Origin series in 2021.

South Sydney players long odds for State of Origin selection

But Mitchell isn't the only Souths player who might be negatively affected by the team's awful start to the season. Damien Cook also seems little chance to be picked by Maguire after the incumbent hooker was dropped by Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou this week.

Api Koroisau and Reece Robson have seemingly overtaken Cook in the pecking order, and Sharks utility Cameron McInnes (who can player hooker) has also been touted as a potential bolter. Cody Walker starred for the Blues in Game III of last year's series, but has been a shadow of his former self so far in 2024. Nicho Hynes and Mitchell Moses are both ahead of Walker at this stage, even with Moses out with a fractured foot.

And questions will also be asked about Rabbitohs captain Cameron Murray. The back-rower is always a warrior for the Blues and never lets anyone down, but maybe it's time to look in another direction.

Many also had Keaon Koloamatangi in their NSW sides at the start of the season, but the second-rower has failed to fire a shot over the last few weeks. And Jack Wighton barely rates a mention, even though his potential backflip on his decision to retire from representative football proved a huge talking point in the off-season.