AAP Rugby

Mitchell not expected at Blues camp

By AAP Newswire

Latrell Mitchell is not expected to attend a NSW State of Origin camp in Sydney on Friday as speculation builds over his NRL future.

The 22-year-old is among several Kangaroos representatives who are still on leave and not required to attend, including Sydney Roosters teammate and Blues fullback James Tedesco who will also miss the camp.

Coach Brad Fittler extended an invitation to the two-day camp to every player who played for the Blues in 2019 as well as those tipped to contend for jerseys next series and in years to come.

A squad of Emerging and Future Blues will go into camp at the Blues' Centre of Excellence on Thursday and will be joined by the senior group on Friday.

A list of attendees is still being finalised by NSWRL, but Mitchell is not expected to be among them.

It comes following a controversial interview Mitchell gave to NRL.com where he suggested his axing from the Blues team after Origin I had a racial element.

He was one of a handful of indigenous players who did not sing the national anthem in protest, with Mitchell telling NRL.com: "NSW went real funny on us because we don't sing the anthem."

Fittler has since denied the allegations on behalf of the NSWRL.

Adding to the pandemonium surrounding him, reports have emerged Mitchell has been told by the Roosters there is no salary cap space to keep him at the club beyond 2020.

The Daily Telegraph reported Mitchell attended a meeting with Roosters boss Nick Politis in Sydney where he was told there is no room to accommodate him in the salary cap beyond next season.

The 22-year-old reportedly became emotional and wept upon meeting with coach Trent Robinson, realising his time at the club is coming to an end after they pulled an $800,000 contract extension last month.

Still contracted to the Roosters for 2020, Mitchell fronted for mandatory medical testing at the club's headquarters in Moore Park.

Mitchell will be required to return for Roosters preseason training in early January if he has not found another club for 2020.

Wests Tigers and Gold Coast have both expressed interest in signing the NRL's top pointscorer, and both would be willing to allow him to play his preferred position of fullback.

"It'd be great to have him here," said Titans skipper Ryan James.

"He's one of those players that are once in a lifetime players. He's his own player but he does remind you of (Greg Inglis) and also he's a goal-kicker and they're invaluable.

"When you're guaranteed the two points after scoring a try, those players that can score the tries and kick them, coming off what he did last year - what did he get, 200 and something points?

"It's amazing what he can do and if he was to come up here, I'd be pretty grateful if he did."