Kyle Flanagan. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Kyle Flanagan. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Life after Latrell: Roosters unveil future stars

Trent Robinson will lead 17 of the Sydney Roosters' brightest young stars on a tough pre-season training camp to New Zealand on Tuesday, after lifting the lid on what led to the breakdown in negotiations with Latrell Mitchell.

Instead of sitting back and worrying about what could have been, Robinson's focus is now on making sure the Roosters' next generation are ready for their shot at the title.

While there has been a lot of hype about how the Roosters will fly out for their final premiership party in the United States this weekend, The Daily Telegraph can reveal before that Robinson will attend a military-style camp in Queenstown.

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Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in the off season.
Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in the off season.

Among the group going with the head coach is new recruit Kyle Flanagan, boom centre Billy Smith and tough young prop Lindsay Collins.

Robinson has hardly had time to catch his breath since the grand final and only recently returned from conquering Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise money for the Mark Hughes Foundation.

This four-day camp in New Zealand is designed to test both mental and physical limits.

Robinson is well known for his attention to detail and he hasn't wasted a minute making sure the Roosters remain focused for their next challenge.

No team has won three-straight titles since the Jack Gibson-coached Parramatta in the early 1980s but few would argue many squads have been better placed to do it than this Roosters line-up.

The Roosters are confident prop Lindsay Collins has a big future. Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt
The Roosters are confident prop Lindsay Collins has a big future. Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt

 

 

While it might seem like mission impossible in the modern game, before the Roosters' triumph this year no team had won back-to-back premierships since the Broncos in the 1990s.

This upcoming camp is also a chance for young Flanagan to show his new coach what he is made after coming across from Cronulla.

Flanagan is being groomed as Cooper Cronk's long-term replacement, and there is going to be huge pressure on him for that reason alone.

Smith is also expected to have big boots to fill with the young centre earmarked as Latrell Mitchell's replacement, while the raps on Collins within the Roosters are huge.

Robinson will then return home to Sydney and fly out for Los Angeles on Saturday where he will join up with the majority of his premiership winning players.

 

 

Kyle Flanagan will start life with the Roosters. Photo: Phil Hillyard
Kyle Flanagan will start life with the Roosters. Photo: Phil Hillyard

 

While staying in LA, the players will be treated to an NFL match and also catch an NBA game.

But it's not all relaxation with the group also visiting the highly acclaimed Dignity Health Sports Park where they will undergo some state-of-the-art training.

After that groups of players will fly off in their own direction for their final break before pre-season.

As reported in The Saturday Telegraph, Mitchell will not join his Roosters teammates as he stays behind to work out where he will be playing next season.

While Wests Tigers remain firm favourites to secure his signature, Robinson has denied he had a falling out with Mitchell before the Roosters pulled their $800,000-a-season contract extension offer.

 

Billy Smith looks set to take over from Mitchell. Photo: Phil Hillyard
Billy Smith looks set to take over from Mitchell. Photo: Phil Hillyard

"There's a lot that's been said but Latrell's a good man and he's delivered for the Roosters and he wants to explore his opportunities," Robinson told SEN Breakfast.

"We're happy for him to do that, it's just we can't sit and wait for that to happen, we've got to move on as well."

Robinson confirmed Mitchell's desire was to play fullback, which was just not an option at the Roosters given James Tedesco owns the No 1 jumper.

"So he's going to go and explore his opportunities, it's as simple as that," Robinson said.