Latrell Mitchell in bombshell NSW State of Origin Game 2 team news

Latrell Mitchell is all but confirmed to return to the State of Origin cauldron with the South Sydney star set to be named in the NSW Blues squad for game two.

News Corp first reported that Blues coach Michael Maguire would pick Mitchell when he announced his squad on Sunday night.

Mitchell was overlooked for the Blues’ series-opening loss to Queensland, but Joseph Suaali’i’s suspension has opened the door for Mitchell to return to Origin for the first time since 2021.

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The Rabbitohs star will return to his old position at left center for the Blues, with Bulldogs star Stephen Crichton taking center stage on the right wing.

Mitchell’s selection is expected to be one of several changes Maguire will make for the second leg on June 26 at the MCG.

Drums were beating for Mitchell’s selection after a string of impressive performances for his club.

Mitchell’s return appeared to be sealed when he met Maguire on Saturday.

Mitchell scored a try, ran 176m, had a line break, a break assist and a try assist and kicked for 291m in a huge performance in the Rabbitohs’ 22-12 win over the Broncos on Friday night to strengthen his claim to return to the Origin arena.

However, he also spent 10 minutes in the sin bin after running after Jordan Rickey’s high tackle on his Rabbitohs captain Cameron Murray.

Mitchell was fined $3,000 for his earlier guilty plea, but if he fights and loses, he faces a two-match suspension.

With Origin on the line, he won’t risk anything in the judiciary.

According to reports, Mitchell and Maguire spent the day together on Saturday as they were both invited to the 2014 Rabbitohs premiership reunion, which Maguire coached.

While all the current players were invited to the event, Mitchell was photographed both talking to Maguire and playing for the camera.

He even posted on Instagram, writing: “Do we have?”

With the NSW squad for Game 2 set to be announced on Sunday night, Mitchell spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald, saying he was ready to return to the NRL event.

“I’m ready. I’m interested,” Mitchell told SMH. “If Madge (Maguire) wants me, I’m there. I’m ready to go to Melbourne and give it to some Queenslanders.

“There was a lot of confusion with NSV because I was never taken care of. I was the scapegoat. I don’t want to go into this camp as a scapegoat if they lose.

“I want to go to camp and feel comfortable in my own skin, make some connections and get ready to play for the people I want to play for.” Don’t come in and be a scapegoat for the media saying, ‘Latrell this, this and this.’

It comes after Mitchell reportedly considered retiring from Origin selection earlier in the season.

He also spoke to Maguire leading up to the first game, with Phil Rothfield of The Daily Telegraph reporting that Madge “came away from that meeting thinking he (Latrell) wasn’t too obsessed with wearing a Blues shirt,” Rothfield told a press conference journalists. time.

But Mitchell claimed, after rediscovering his form amid the Rabbitohs’ three-game revival in recent weeks, he “wasn’t in the right headspace before the first game”.

“At the same time, I was probably a bit dirty, I wasn’t picked, to be honest,” he continued.

“I was playing god a bit there. I didn’t know what I wanted. I was playing with fire a little. The doubt was there. I was afraid of being thrown under the bus again.

“But now I know where I am as a player. I am ready to go if I am selected. I will not let the country down.”

Mitchell said he believes Maguire will stand by him “if the s**t hits the fans”, having previously felt scapegoated.

He was dropped in 2019 after an 18-14 Game 1 loss to former coach Brad Fittler, claiming he was never given a reason for being fired.

NSV came back to win the series in three games.

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