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Sport Roosters approach Toronto Wolfpack to solve Latrell headache

23:25  02 december  2019
23:25  02 december  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

Latrell must copy Inglis blueprint: Mini

  Latrell must copy Inglis blueprint: Mini Sydney Roosters legend Anthony Minichiello admits the Latrell Mitchell experiment at fullback didn't work at the NRL club but thinks it can work elsewhere.But that could be a different story if the 22-year-old follows in the footsteps of Greg Inglis.

Saturday, 7 December 2019 Roosters approach Toronto Wolfpack to solve Latrell headache | Black Room It can be revealed the Roosters have shopped Latrell

It can be revealed the Roosters have shopped Latrell Mitchell to the Toronto Wolfpack to end the saga surrounding their star centre.

a close up of Latrell Mitchell: Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell is struggling to find a place to call home.© Getty Images Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell is struggling to find a place to call home.

And now, in the latest episode of "Where the Hell is Latrell Mitchell playing next season?", it can be revealed the Roosters have shopped the star centre to the Toronto Wolfpack.

Cue game show music. Laughter. Applause. Loud groan.

The approach was made to Toronto’s head of rugby, former England coach Brian Noble, when he was in Australia last week on the hunt for potential recruits.

Having just signed dual international Sonny Bill Williams on a $10 million two-year deal, Mitchell would’ve been another key signing for the Super League powerhouse.

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Toronto Wolfpack is a professional Rugby League team currently competing in the Super League. We are the world’s first transatlantic professional sports team. Toronto Wolfpack Rugby Club continues to be in dialogue with several investment groups around taking on the immediate ownership of the team.

Toronto Wolfpack Rugby Club continues to be in dialogue with several investment groups around taking on the immediate ownership of the team. The ‘For Sale’ sign is sitting on the Toronto Wolfpack ’s front lawn. But there won’t be an open house. Over the past few weeks, things have gone

It would also solve what is becoming a major headache for the Roosters as Mitchell struggles to find a club he wants to play for.

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© Getty Latrell Mitchell leads Roosters to victory Latrell Mitchell's manager has defended his actions as the Roosters star continues to shop around for a more lucrative "Rushton also said there was no truth to the report of Mitchell exploring any options in rugby union or with the Toronto Wolfpack .

I’m hearing that Toronto Wolfpack Chairman and CEO Bob Hunter has made one final call to former owner David Argyle to reconsider his position as the club’s £2.3 M debts continue to spiral out of control and the players enter a third month without pay.

Toronto doesn't seem like a solution, though. Noble wasn’t available for comment on Monday night but chief executive Bob Hunter said: "I have had several discussions with Brian in the last few days and Latrell’s name hasn’t been raised at all."

a group of people playing football on a field: Latrell Mitchell had an up and down season in 2019 - but still finished as the league's top pointscorer and second top tryscorer.© NRL Photos Latrell Mitchell had an up and down season in 2019 - but still finished as the league's top pointscorer and second top tryscorer.

The Wolfpack development is another plot twist in what is becoming one of the most botched contract negotiations in recent memory — and given rugby league’s history of botched contract negotiations that is saying something.

The well-worn lines about Mitchell being "poorly advised" and "pushed and pulled" in all directions are true.

We won’t rehash the madness of the past six weeks, but to understand how crazy it’s become consider this: three different people have recently approached Souths, all claiming to represent Latrell Mitchell.

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Toronto Wolfpack live score (and video online live stream*), schedule and results from all rugby tournaments that Toronto Wolfpack played. Toronto Wolfpack is playing next match on 16 Aug 2020 against Hull Kingston Rovers in Super League.

Latrell Fontaine Sprewell (born September 8, 1970) is an American former professional basketball player who played for the Golden State Warriors, the New York Knicks, and the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA.

Trent Robinson wearing a baseball hat: Trent Robinson backed Latrell Mitchell after the star centre was the target of vile online abuse during the 2019 season.© Getty Trent Robinson backed Latrell Mitchell after the star centre was the target of vile online abuse during the 2019 season.

Three? He has one accredited agent and that is Wayde Rushton.

Souths, meanwhile, are getting sick of insisting they don’t want to sign him: neither now or when they find out the extent of their salary cap relief following the retirement of captain Sam Burgess with a shoulder injury.

Furthermore, this column has been told about one adviser telling a Sydney club he can "deliver Latrell" on one condition: they give him a $50,000 spotter’s fee. The person in question did not return calls.

Latrell Mitchell wearing a football uniform: Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell is struggling to find a place to call home.© NRL Photos Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell is struggling to find a place to call home.

This is where the NRL needs to start taking a closer look.

It has recently taken control of the Agents Accreditation Scheme, but it is understood head office — particularly with new chairman Peter V’landys officially in the building — will be taking a much closer look at the way player managers do business.

Mitchell’s messy negotiations also highlight how broken the game’s contract system has become.

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He was officially allowed to start talking with other clubs on November 1. Having knocked back the Roosters’ offer of $2.4 million over three years, it was then suggested he might be forced to play 2020 in NSW Cup with North Sydney, the Roosters’ feeder team, if he didn't move on immediately.

In the month that has followed, he’s talked to the Wests Tigers (and had the offer pulled); talked to the Bulldogs (and had the offer pulled); talked to the Cowboys (didn’t even get an offer); and is still talking to the Titans.

All this with one season remaining on his current deal. All this before he’s even returned to training in preparation for the 2020 season.

The default line from clubs wanting to move on players before their contract ends — "You’ll be playing reserve grade" — is loaded with dynamite. Look what happened at the Wests Tigers when then coach Jason Taylor pushed out Robbie Farah.

The game must seriously explore the viability of an internal draft or, at the very least, implement transfer windows.

The NRL has a proposal on the table with the RLPA for trade periods before the start of the regular season, during the Origin period and another after the grand final.

The RLPA prefers a "free market" but it needs to realise the damage the current system is doing to the players it represents; to young, poorly advised players like Mitchell in particular.

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He’s been painted as greedy by some; a martyr by others. NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg has been quietly checking in on his mental health in recent weeks.

Mitchell has been lashing out via social media at the "haters" and, mostly, the media. He has re-posted claims from his 178,000 Instagram followers that the coverage has been racist, even drawing comparisons to the way Adam Goodes was booed out of the AFL.

That’s a stretch. Speculation about player negotiations have been filling newspaper column inches for decades with managers and clubs using select reporters to inflate their player's market value.

But there’s no doubt Mitchell feels cornered. The way he took on racist online trolling earlier this year was brave and commendable. So, too, was the way Roosters coach Trent Robinson backed him.

That's why it will be a great shame if Mitchell leaves. The Roosters have helped Mitchell behind closed doors at Moore Park more than any other player.

With every new club Mitchell has been linked to, it becomes clearer the best place for him is the Roosters. Sure, he could squeeze extra dollars out of other clubs. He could get the "fullback money" he wants.

But becoming a "Rooster for life" brings wealth that can't be quantified.

He wouldn't be getting just $800,000 a season. He'd have the guidance, care and football intelligence of Robinson, the power and influence of Nick Politis, and he'd be playing on a left-edge outside of Luke Keary and Boyd Cordner that will surely get him back into the NSW side sooner than later.

The Roosters, though, aren't budging. When Mitchell secretly met with the Bulldogs during the finals series, it did irreparable damage to his reputation at the club.

There are also concerns that Mitchell will struggle for motivation. He's won two premierships, an Origin series win for NSW and Australian jumpers — at the age of 22.

When he met with the Cowboys, club officials asked what appealed most about playing in Townsville.

He didn’t talk about winning premierships, about playing at the club’s new stadium, about taking the field alongside Jason Taumalolo or Michael Morgan.

"Fishing and shooting," he said.

'Mentally drained': Latrell's brother opens up on social media abuse .
Shaquai Mitchell can provide a unique perspective on the pressures he and superstar brother Latrell face during their differing rugby league journeys.How the incessant chatter from the stands or social media can pierce even the thickest skins. It has resulted in Latrell becoming "mentally drained" this summer, while in his own case Mitchell needed a sabbatical to escape the pressures that come with professional rugby league.

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