Latrell Mitchell in bombshell news days out from State of Origin

The New South Wales star is one of the NRL's in-form players leading into Origin.

Latrell Mitchell during training and Mitchell after losing State of Origin.
Latrell Mitchell (pictured) has been ruled out of State of Origin Game I due to a calf injury. (Getty Images)

New South Wales star Latrell Mitchell has sensationally been ruled out of State of Origin Game I after suffering a calf injury during training. Mitchell was one of the definite selections from Brad Fittler this year having been in remarkable form for the high-flying Rabbitohs to start the 2023 season.

However, the Rabbitohs fullback has gone down with a calf injury during Blues training and has been ruled out of the game on Wednesday. There is no timeline on his return with NRL Physio Brien Seeney claimed a low grade calf injury will rule him out for 1-3 weeks, which could see him return for Game II.

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Penrith ace Stephen Crichton will come into the centres for Mitchell and Bulldogs' Matt Burton will enter the squad as 18th man. This follows Rabbitohs teammate Campbell Graham also pulling out of the squad.

“Mitchell sustained the injury at training and scans later revealed a strain which would prevent him playing,” a statement from NSW Rugby League read. “Mitchell will be replaced by 18th man Stephen Crichton and did not travel with the team to Adelaide today.”

Crichton moves into the centres having played all three games last year in the series loss. The NRL world was quick to react to the Blues' devastating blow as they lose one of their most in-form stars only a few days out from the clash.

Campbell Graham blow for NSW

The blow comes as his teammate, Graham, was ruled out as 18th man when the squad was selected last week. There were huge calls for Graham to make his Blues debut this year having been in wonderful form for the Rabbitohs.

However, Fittler overlooked Graham and picked him in the squad as 18th man. Graham then withdrew his name after revealing a sternum injury. He also skipped the Rabbitohs match on the weekend.

Latrell Mitchell runs during Blues camp.
Latrell Mitchell (pictured) has been ruled out of Game I after a calf injury. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The news comes as a blow as Graham would have been a certainty to step in as centre for the injured Mitchell. Queensland No.9 Ben Hunt was asked about Mitchell's injury and if it would change the Maroon's game plan.

But Hunt was adamant the reigning champions would go out and play their own game, despite the huge X-factor loss for the Blues. “I just heard as I was coming off the field for training, I don’t think anything changes for us obviously he is a big loss for them,” Hunt said.

“Our focus has always been on what we can do... he definitely brought a lot of strike to their left edge and there’s no secrets about what Latrell can do.

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