Jai Arrow, Sam Burgess and Latrell Mitchell.
Jai Arrow, Sam Burgess and Latrell Mitchell.

Why Rabbitohs hold key to Latrell’s future

SAM Burgess's pending $1 million payout for his medically enforced retirement potentially holds the key to Latrell Mitchell's future.

In a strange twist of fate, it has emerged that the Sydney Roosters' sworn enemies, South Sydney, now want to use Burgess's salary cap money to make a play for the Gold Coast's hottest young forward, Jai Arrow.

But the bad news is that at best this whole sorry saga will have to drag on for at least another fortnight before the NRL hands down a verdict on Burgess payout.

The way this would potentially work is that if Arrow were to sign with the Rabbitohs, that in turn would free up money for the Titans to go hard for Mitchell next season.

Although Arrow is not off contract until 2021, the Titans probably would grant him a release if he committed his future elsewhere.

South Sydney and Sam Burgess hold the key to Latrell Mitchell’s future. Picture: Mark Metcalfe
South Sydney and Sam Burgess hold the key to Latrell Mitchell’s future. Picture: Mark Metcalfe

Make no mistake, the Titans have not given up hope of re-signing Arrow beyond next year, but they have to weigh up alternative plans just in case the Bunnies get under their guard.

The Titans have several other players they would be keen to offload, but unfortunately the NRL player market is a supply-and-demand business and while Arrow is hot property, players such as Bryce Cartwright, Leilani Latu, Tyrone Peachey and Tyrone Phillips are not considered value for money.

Titans' head of culture and performance Mal Meninga reiterated his interest in Mitchell when contacted on Thursday in the wake of the Wests Tigers decision to withdraw their offer.

The Titans hope to meet with Mitchell and his management next week.

Latrell Mitchell is being hunted by the Titans. Picture: Cameron Spencer
Latrell Mitchell is being hunted by the Titans. Picture: Cameron Spencer

Even then, it would be hard to see how they could make an offer until they know where the stand with Arrow, which can't be sorted until after the Burgess decision is final.

It is anticipated the Rabbitohs will get close to a full payout for Burgess given his latest injury occurred well after he signed his most recent contract.

Gold Coast Titans player Jai Arrow at preseason training, Parkwood. Picture: Jerad Williams
Gold Coast Titans player Jai Arrow at preseason training, Parkwood. Picture: Jerad Williams

If they get the $1 million, that would allow them to make Arrow an offer too good to refuse and perhaps pick up a second middle forward.

The Rabbitohs maintain they were never in the race to sign Mitchell despite constant speculation linking them to the unhappy Rooster.

Souths are also waiting on a decision from Cody Walker after putting an offer to the five-eighth a couple of weeks back.

Walker's management are also chasing a significant pay ris,e but the Rabbitohs have made what they view a fair offer and they won't be getting into a bidding war.

News Corp Australia


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