NRL superstar Latrell Mitchell has sensationally revealed he almost quit the sport last year – before boldly declaring his intention to be the code’s best fullback this season.
Mitchell endured a drama-filled 2023, with a series of niggling injuries and a drawn-out court case alongside Jack Wighton adding to his frustration.
All charges against the footy stars were eventually dropped after a leading police officer based in the ACT admitted giving false evidence.
The 26-year-old was then at the centre of Souths legend Sam Burgess walking out on the club after he accused coach Jason Demetriou of giving the representative star special treatment.
Mitchell said it had ‘100 per cent’ been among the toughest years of his life and revealed he seriously considered walking away from the game for good.
NRL superstar Latrell Mitchell has revealed he almost quit the sport last year – before declaring his intention to be the code’s best fullback this season
Mitchell endured a drama-filled 2023, with a series of niggling injuries and a drawn-out court case alongside Jack Wighton adding to his frustration
After chatting with his family about his future, Mitchell decided to ‘grit his teeth’ and continue his NRL career
‘I just think mentally, it was definitely draining. It was getting to a point where rugby league wasn’t enjoyable,’ he told 9News.
‘It was a conversation I had to have with my family….to see where I was at in life and if I could potentially keep doing this.
‘I also asked myself…is it fun anymore? Can I keep putting up with people?
‘It is what it is, but [ultimately] I couldn’t go out of this game knowing that I didn’t go out on my own terms.’
Mitchell added it is now ‘time to grit the teeth and have a crack’ and that starts by showing he is the best fullback in the game.
South Sydney open the NRL season when they tackle the Manly Sea Eagles in Las Vegas on March 3 (1.30pm, AEDT) at Allegiant Stadium.
The clash – part of a historic double header in Sin City also involving the Roosters and Broncos – will see Mitchell line up against Tom Trbojevic, who will have his own point to prove as he returns from injury.