Latrell Mitchell watched on by coach Wayne Bennett and Greg Inglis during South Sydney NRL training at Redfern Oval, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello
Latrell Mitchell watched on by coach Wayne Bennett and Greg Inglis during South Sydney NRL training at Redfern Oval, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello

Cowboys genius to teach Latrell what it takes to be No.1

He is the "little freak" helping turn Latrell Mitchell into the NRL's top fullback.

 

Indigenous coach Laurie Daley has revealed NRL legend Matt Bowen will be in All Stars camp this week to shadow, train and educate aspiring fullback Mitchell.

 

Mitchell will play fullback - his newly preferred position - for the Indigenous side against Maori All Stars on the Gold Cast on Saturday night.

 

LIVE stream Indigenous All-Stars v Maori Kiwis in the 2020 Harvey Norman NRL All Stars match on KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Latrell Mitchell has some big guns helping him adjust to life as a fullback.
Latrell Mitchell has some big guns helping him adjust to life as a fullback.

The Indigenous side enter camp in Queensland on Monday.

 

Bowen, the former North Queensland champion and Indigenous assistant coach along with Justin Hodges and Dean Young, has been handed a primary role - mentor Mitchell.

 

"Matt is one of the greats and is very well respected. He will follow Latrell around and give him tips on playing fullback," Daley said.

 

"When we're at training, Matty will point out the defensive stuff, where Latrell should be and what he should be looking at. Matty will also help Latrell with his attack.

 

"Matty is an experienced fullback - he knows more about fullback play than me. It is good to have him in camp and it will be good for Latrell, who can bounce a few ideas off Matty.

 

"I'm sure Latrell will enjoy it. Matty Bowen is certainly revered and is a wonderful role model so I'm sure Latrell will get a lot out of him."

 

Mitchell has already been tutored on fullback play at Souths by the legendary Greg Inglis.

Indigenous All Stars assistant coach Matt Bowen will be working closely with Latrell.
Indigenous All Stars assistant coach Matt Bowen will be working closely with Latrell.

The focus will be on Mitchell during the Indigenous match to determine how the former Roosters champion adapts to his new role.

 

"Talking in a game of rugby league also takes a bit out of you. So at the back of the field, instead of just going back there for a rest, Latrell won't be able to do that," Daley said.

 

"At fullback, you're isolated so you're in charge of the defensive system so you have to be talking the whole way through every set of six. You don't get time to rest. That will be a challenge for Latrell.

 

"You have to remember, forwards, when they come back from making a tackle, they're looking at the fullback either through hand signals or verbally, telling them which side of the ruck they should be.

 

"At fullback, Latrell can't have a rest, he has to focus every minute of the game, every tackle. That will be something he hasn't got used to."

 

Mitchell has told teammates he is just happy to be back playing again after an off-season of contract talks and headlines

 

And, as a proud Indigenous player, Mitchell is even more excited to be playing alongside his mates in the All Stars game.

Greg Inglis and Wayne Bennett keep a close eye on the progress of Latrell Mitchell.
Greg Inglis and Wayne Bennett keep a close eye on the progress of Latrell Mitchell.

"You get freedom in attack from fullback," Daley said.

 

"You can go wherever you want. You create the extra man and you can attack through the middle third of the field when forwards are getting tired.

 

"You can turn up on the left side, turn up on the right, and it gives you a chance to sit back and identify weaknesses in the opposition - see who might be coming out of the line, see who might be sliding and exposing their inside shoulders, seeing the forward who might be getting lazy.

 

"When you sit back as a fullback you can see all this unfolding."



KNIFE THREAT: Man allegedly tells mum he’ll kill her dog

premium_icon KNIFE THREAT: Man allegedly tells mum he’ll kill her dog

The man denied allegations he threatened violence

Quest to reunite stolen stamp and coin stash with owner

premium_icon Quest to reunite stolen stamp and coin stash with owner

Police put out the call to find the owner of suspected stolen property.