Latrell ready for 5/8 switch if Keary falls
LATRELL Mitchell is proud of the way he's dealt with adversity this season.
That's why, if Luke Keary's troublesome ankle buckles in Sunday's NRL grand final, Mitchell will have no hesitation in stepping into his playmaking role again.
The Sydney Roosters' superstar centre experienced mixed results in his four games in the halves while Keary was out earlier this season, with the team winning just two of those matches.
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But the experiment hasn't deterred Mitchell from another crack if required to rejoin retirement-bound great Cooper Cronk in the halves against Canberra at ANZ Stadium.
"To play with Cooper (Cronk), it was out of my comfort zone," Mitchell said.
"I played it as a junior. To come back and play it in NRL, it was hard because I just didn't have that base around me to know enough about the position.
"But to play ad lib, run, have the ball more, I really enjoyed it."
Mitchell may not have to wait long for another chance with Keary likely to enter the grand final under a cloud after aggravating his ankle problem last weekend.
"The game plan is to play footy and score tries ... But wherever Trent wants to put me, I'm keen to go - just hopefully not the front row," Mitchell said.
The 22-year-old has had plenty of experience at being out of his comfort zone this year.
From getting dropped by NSW coach Brad Fittler after State of Origin I, to taking on racist baiters on social media, he has seemingly risen above all challenges.
The fallout over his Blues axing in particular was intense.
But Mitchell showed maturity with a back half of the season where he finished as the league's leading pointscorer and second in tries.
"I couldn't sit around kicking stones. I know for myself, if I did that, I wouldn't forgive myself for giving up," Mitchell said.
"I just wanted to get back to playing footy and having fun.
"I had a lot of family issues going on around that time as well. I just had to fix it up and now I got it all done and fixed, everything's all good and going smoothly.
"And I think it just shows on the field.
"I'm really proud of myself. I just went through some adversity and come out the other side. Now I know that if I go through that in the future.
"Touch wood I don't. But if it's going to be there, I know how to come out of it."