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Roosters backing Latrell Mitchell after State of Origin shocker

The Sydney Roosters have thrown their wings around under-fire superstar Latrell Mitchell and declared he is undeterred by the wave of criticism directed at him after his lacklustre State of Origin I display.

The Roosters strike centre will return to the field in tomorrow's NRL clash with Canterbury in what shapes as a test of mental strength for the 21-year-old.

Hailed as arguably the best player in the game after his destructive performance against the Wests Tigers a month ago, he was panned after being soundly beaten by Maroons centre Will Chambers in the Origin opener.

Former Roosters and Blues coach Phil Gould questioned his headspace and whether he would be a distraction for NSW heading into next weekend's must-win Origin II in Perth.

He returned to hometown Taree on NSW's North Coast and missed last week's loss to Penrith but has been back at training this week.

"We've gone through what you do as a coach and a player and the support that a player needs at this time," Roosters coach Trent Robinson said.

"No matter what's been said before, whether you've had pats on the back or criticism, it's 'get ready to play'. That's been our focus."

Mitchell's mindset was brought into question following his split from manager Steve Deacon.

Bulldogs prop Dylan Napa, who will meet his former side for the first time on Sunday, bristled at the criticism of his former teammate.

But Robinson said it was part and parcel of the game.

"I think that's a part of being a sportsman and a much-loved sportsman," Robinson said.

"If you ask most Roosters supporters, and especially young ones, who do they look up to? It's Latrell.

"It's going to come with that. My thing is to not ever will away that talk about you because it means you're doing something right.

People will have an opinion and be interested in how you're going."


Latrell Mitchell (NSW).
Rugby League - 2018 State of Origin, Game 1 played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) between the NSW Blues v QLD Maroons on 6 June 2018.
Latrell Mitchell in action for NSW Blues against the Queensland Maroons. Source: Photosport


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