SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 15: Latrell Mitchell of the Roosters watches on during the round one NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Sydney Cricket Ground on March 15, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 15: Latrell Mitchell of the Roosters watches on during the round one NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Sydney Cricket Ground on March 15, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Buzz: Why Bunnies are best option for Latrell

Latrell Mitchell hasn't given up hope of playing for the South Sydney Rabbitohs next season, even if it means him taking a substantial pay cut.

The Sydney Roosters discard will not commit to the Wests Tigers and their $1 million-a-season offer until his manager has explored all options … which includes the Rabbitohs.

Mitchell is extremely close to Souths five-eighth Cody Walker and centre James Roberts. The trio were spotted sitting together at the Tim Tszyu-Jack Brubaker fight last week.

He also loves the indigenous culture that has been such a rich part of South Sydney for decades.

 

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No official talks have taken place at this stage because the Rabbitohs have prioritised the signing of an elite middle forward to replace Sam Burgess.

They will then look at finalising their roster. Souths have a number of ways to squeeze Latrell into the salary cap.

There will be money left over from Burgess' $1.2 million, there are many third-party options for Latrell and the Roosters would no doubt contribute to his 2020 contract.

For a number of reasons the Rabbitohs are Latrell's best option. For starters, there is Wayne Bennett, who has a long and proud relationship with indigenous footballers. Mitchell could stay living in the eastern suburbs. He also has Greg Inglis on staff at Redfern.

 

Mitchell admires Souths’ indigenous heritage. Photo: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Mitchell admires Souths’ indigenous heritage. Photo: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

 

The problem is the money. The Rabbitohs cannot match what the Wests Tigers can offer. At the Rabbitohs, he would have to accept probably $200,000-a-season less.

It would, however, be a wonderful thing to further inflame the ugliest rivalry in rugby league history between the Roosters and the Rabbitohs.

His presence would sell thousands of extra tickets when they meet in Round 3 at ANZ Stadium in a Friday night blockbuster.

The Rabbitohs are aware of Latrell's preference to play at Redfern and are desperately trying to sign the Burgess replacement (Jai Arrow or David Fifita) to move on to Latrell.



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