It was an unexpected shock to be selected to play in the NSW Under-20s for Latrell Mitchell who was only considering selection in the Under-18s side.
NSWRL Performance Development Coach Brad Fittler informed the 18-year-old sensation he would be playing for NSW in the Under-20s clash at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday 8 July in the curtain raiser before Origin III.
It’s a massive opportunity for Mitchell who is thrilled to be playing alongside the next generation of NRL superstars.
“Brad called to tell me I wouldn’t be playing in the Under-18s,” Mitchell said. “But then he told me that they were really keen to chuck me in the Under-20s instead.
“I felt really down because I really wanted to play and have fun with the Under-18s. But then I was so excited when I found out I would be playing in the 20s instead.
“It’s exciting for me- it’s another goal, another step that I have accomplished.”
It’s been a jam-packed blockbuster year for Mitchell who just turned 18 a few weeks ago. In a Man-of-the-Match performance, Mitchell scored two tries in the final eight minutes for the Sydney Roosters to clinch the 2014 SG Ball Grand Final.
With many anticipating a bright future, Mitchell has been spectacular for the Roosters’ Holden Cup side this season with the club re-signing him until the end of 2019.
Mitchell was named in the 2014 Australian Schoolboys Squad alongside John Olive, Oliver Clark, Jacob Liddle, Tyrell Fuimaono and Hame Sele who were also selected in the NSW Under-20s side.
Mitchell is no stranger to the Origin arena and will be hoping to make it three wins in a row against Queensland. There are large expectations for Mitchell and this crop of talented footballers who put a 30-0 record score line on their Under-16s Queensland counterparts in 2013 before securing a dominating 24-10 win in the Under-18s clash last year at ANZ Stadium.
“I’m really looking forward to bonding with the boys again and preparing for the match,” Mitchell said. “It’s going to be such a massive rush in front of a big crowd at Suncorp Stadium.”
NSW fans, the future is most certainly bright for the Blues.