Latrell Mitchell responds to ugly claims amid Sam Burgess furore at South Sydney

The Rabbitohs fullback has moved to dismiss the dramas engulfing the club.

Latrell Mitchell and Sam Burgess at the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Latrell Mitchell has spoken out amid dramas around Sam Burgess and the Rabbitohs. Image: Getty

Latrell Mitchell has moved to shut down claims he is at odds with South Sydney Rabbitohs teammates, amid reports he is given too much reign at the club and not held to the same standards as others. The situation came to a head this week when assistant coach Sam Burgess left the club immediately, despite there being just two weeks until the NRL finals.

While the Rabbitohs said Burgess wanted to focus on the upcoming birth of his child and prepare for his move to Warrington as head coach in 2024, reports have suggested that he called out coach Jason Demetriou about perceived 'preferential treatment' of Mitchell and Cody Walker. A board meeting was called for Tuesday night and it was decided that Burgess would leave the club with immediate effect.

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Mitchell missed a large chunk of the season due to a calf injury, and his performances have come under heavy scrutiny since his return. Souths captain Cameron Murray reportedly called out Mitchell during a team video session earlier this season after Mitchell complained he wasn't passed that ball. According to reports, Murray responded: "Most of the time you're not there."

Amid the dramas engulfing the club, Mitchell moved to shut down rumours on Thursday night. Posting a photo alongside his teammates, the fullback wrote: “Sometimes we fight, sometimes we argue but there ain’t no negotiation on how much I love this club and my teammates.”

Jason Demetriou denies claims about Latrell Mitchell

Mitchell has left his teammates in the lurch after a 'brain snap' against the Knights last week resulted in a one-game suspension. After a bye in Round 26, the fullback won't be available for the final-round blockbuster against the Roosters after he elbowed Tyson Frizell.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday after Burgess' departure, Demetriou was forced to dismiss claims Mitchell and Walker are effectively running the club. "Latrell is a big presence, as Sam was when he was playing, but to say that he (Mitchell) is dominating the club ... he's a part of the leadership team," said Demetriou.

"Cameron Murray is our captain and does a fantastic job as a leader in this club. Is (Mitchell) dominating the club? No, it's a comment that's ridiculous. He was out for three months, who was dominating the club then?

"One minute, (everyone) was saying we're too soft on him and they're running the club. And the next minute, it's I'm falling out with everyone. So which one is it?"

South Sydney players, pictured here during their NRL loss to Newcastle.
South Sydney players look on during their loss to Newcastle. (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)

Wayne Bennett weighs in amid dramas engulfing Souths

On Thursday, Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett denied claims Mitchell is difficult to coach and backed Demetriou to find his way out of the fire. Bennett previously coached Mitchell at the Rabbitohs while Demetriou was his assistant.

"I am not inside so I don't know a whole lot about it, but it is not what you want this time of a footy season at any club," Bennett said. When asked if he had to handle Mitchell and Walker differently at the Rabbitohs he said: "No. They were great guys. I loved coaching them. They are really good people."

"Jason is the coach there now. What's happened here is a great example of what happens (when you lose) and it is how you handle it. They are under pressure. Simple as that. They haven't performed as well as they should have in a lot of people's minds.

"Pressure is the thing that makes or breaks teams, makes and breaks the individuals and makes and breaks the coaches. It is whether you handle it or don't handle it."

with AAP

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