State of Origin: Blues coach Brad Fittler facing Latrell Mitchell dilemma

Michael Holland
Latrell Mitchell

New South Wales coach Brad Fittler says it is too early to make a call on whether Latrell Mitchell will be fit enough to play in game two of State of Origin.

The South Sydney ace is on the way back from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss game one. Mitchell’s presence was sorely missed as Queensland ran out 16-10 winners and his return would give the whole Blues camp a big lift.

Fittler is missing some big names already and would love to have Mitchell back. Especially as Kotoni Staggs is also a doubt for game two. The Brisbane Broncos star picked up a shoulder injury in game one. There is no structural damage to the shoulder but it is still a concern nonetheless.

Latrell Mitchell in fitness race

Fittler could be left with a selection dilemma if both are passed fit. But it is one he would love to have. For now though it is a case of waiting to see how Mitchell goes over the next couple of weeks.

Mitchell would have been available to face the Titans on Saturday but contracted covid. It means that Thursday’s game against the Dragons could be his last chance to get a game in.

The Blues take on the Maroons in Perth on Sunday June 26th. Ideally he would need a game for Souths before then. It would be a big call to put him straight in without some action under his belt.

Speaking on Immortal Behaviour, blues legend Andrew Johns said he would put him in if fit. Fittler may have other ideas though. Either way the next week or so is crucial.

Brad Fittler will wait and see

“I think we first wait and see what he’s doing with South Sydney,” Fittler told Nine’s NRL Sunday Footy Show. “He’s obviously a South Sydney player until State of Origin is on.

“I’ve spoken to Jason (Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou) before and their trainer is on our staff so we have a pretty good look at how Latrell is and what he’s capable of doing.

“I think everyone would like to see Latrell play at this next level, he’s a great player, and he loves playing at that level.”

Meanwhile Fittler also faces an anxious wait with Payne Haas’ injury. He damaged the AC joint in his shoulder while playing for the Broncos on Saturday night and is waiting to discover the full extent of the damage.