TAREE’S Latrell Mitchell returns to training on Monday with the Sydney Roosters Holden Cup (under 20) rugby league team determined to build on his stellar year in 2014.
Mitchell, 18, was named player of the tour in the Australian Schoolboys seven game expedition to England and France that concluded just before Christmas. He played in every game and notched 13 tries, including four in the last match when the Australians thrashed France under 18s 40-4.
Mitchell was fullback for six of the games and in the centre for the last.
“I didn’t really mind where I played,’’ he said.
His performances capped what was an unbelievable year of achievements playing for the Sydney Roosters in the SG Ball (under 18s) and NSW under 18s.
He was named player of the match in the Roosters SG Ball grand final win over Penrith and was also named the SG Ball player of the year.
Just 12 months previously Mitchell was playing under 18s for Taree City in the Group Three competition while he also captained Red Rovers in the under 16s. He also played for the Taree Biripi Sharks in the State-wide indigenous knockout at Raymond Terrace over the October long weekend in 2014.
Mitchell was also called into the Roosters Holden Cup side once commitments ended with the SG Ball team.
However, his season was cut short when he broke his collarbone after colliding with first grade backrower Boyd Cordner during a training session.
Mitchell recovered in plenty of time to take his place in the Schoolboys side for the European tour.
Modestly, Mitchell described his form overseas as ‘alright.’
“I played pretty well in the last game, that was probably my best,’’ he added.
The Australians won six of the seven matches, a loss to England Academy in the second test stopping the clean sweep.
“We won the first test but they beat us in the second. We drew the series, so that was a big disappointing,’’ Mitchell said.
He added that players in the majority of sides the Australians came up against were older.
“They had Super League players,’’ he said.
He described the two tests against the English Academy as tough. The Ausralians held on to win the first test 22-18, where Mitchell scored two tries, before succumbing 28-14 in the second.
Mitchell said the tour was a great experience but added he’ll now concentrate on preparing for the 2015 season with the Roosters.