‘It cannot happen’: Latrell Mitchell cops fresh ban amid Rabbitohs crisis, retirement fears

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Latrell Mitchell has reportedly been banned from returning to his farm in regional NSW amid continued scrutiny over the South Sydney star.

Mitchell has accepted a three-match ban for a grade two dangerous contact charge for lifting his elbow and whacking Shaun Johnson in the head in South Sydney’s 34-4 loss to the Warriors on the weekend.

The Rabbitohs are last on the ladder with a 1-4 record and there are reports coach Jason Demetriou has 80 minutes to save his job in a must win game against the Sharks on Saturday.

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The SMH reports Mitchell will front Rabbitohs officials in a meeting on Tuesday as the club tries to get the best out of him.

Mitchell, 26, owns a farm in Taree on the NSW Mid North Coast where he often goes to during stints away from rugby league.

But Braith Anasta and Michael Ennis have urged Mitchell to remain in Sydney and show his Rabbitohs teammates he’s in for the long haul.

“You don’t always get it right on the footy field, but where Latrell is at at the moment, he needs to go away over these next three weeks and have a real think about how his actions affect the team,” Ennis said on Fox League.

“That doesn’t mean that he goes to Taree for three weeks. It cannot happen.

“What Latrell Mitchell needs to do, and what Jason Demetriou needs to do when he talks about his leadership at the club. He needs to come in, and Latrell Mitchell needs to be at training every single morning at 6am before any other player gets there.

“He needs to dive in and show his teammates and the club what he’s going to do on return, that is the key because Latrell is such a big player in this club.

“He needs to send a message and this is an opportunity now with three weeks out of the game, not to step back and have a break, it’s about diving in.

“Get there every single morning, train your backside off for the next three weeks and show your teammates the season is still alive.”

Anasta said on NRL 360 on Monday: “The leadership of the club have to acknowledge and take responsibility, instead of trying to change the narratives or agendas through papers and articles and trying to give these players excuses and instead of making the hard calls, have to change what has been happening inside these four walls for a long time.

“They want to discipline the players, now they are telling Latrell (Mitchell) he can’t go to the farm, but the horse has bolted. It’s from the top down to the bottom.

“If you are a leader there you need to make the tough calls, you need to identify the club isn’t in a good position before it gets out of hand, but they’ve let it get completely out of hand and now they’ve lost complete control.”

Paul Gallen said one of Mitchell’s passions is travelling around NSW to do community work.

“I tell you what he loves, his people and he loves doing things for the community … during the week on his day off he jumped on a plane and went off to Moree to help with the police,” Gallen said on 100% Footy.

“And I got told by the police themselves he did an absolutely fantastic job. I think he likes giving back to the community, he likes doing those sorts of things.

“I don’t know if anyone’s asked him that (about his love of the game), I can’t imagine he doesn’t like the game, but at the moment he just looks angry at the world and he’s playing that way.”

Mitchell won two premierships with the Roosters and has played seven games for NSW and 10 for Australia including a World Cup win.

But there are fears his best football might already by behind him at the age of just 26, with former players including Andrew Johns urging Souths to move Mitchell from fullback to the centres.

Phil Gould said he wouldn’t be surprised if Mitchell opted to retired early from rugby league.

“Has anyone ever sat Latrell down and said do you really want to play this game?,” Gould said.

“Are you really in love with this game? Do you love the hard work? Do you love the discipline? Do you love your teammates? Do you love the club? … or is it just I’ll do it because I’m good at it but I’ll do it my own way.

“Has someone actually sat him down and said if you had a chance to walk away, would you go? I reckon he would. I reckon he will, I don’t see that he’s in love with it at all.”

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