The spectre of Greg Inglis looms large over Latrell Mitchell at South Sydney, but the Rabbitohs’ recruit insists he’ll be blazing his own trail at the NRL club.
One of the all-time greats of the game, Inglis played nine years at the Rabbitohs and helped transform the club into regular finalists and, ultimately, grand final winners in 2014.
His injury-enforced retirement last year effectively opened up a door for Mitchell to join Souths – now, the 22 year-old wants to close it and move on.
“I’m here to prove myself. Greg has left a great legacy for himself and that’s all I am here to do for myself,” Mitchell said.
“I’m not in the shadow of anyone … we’re similar players, I get that but, at the end of the day, I am here to do what is right for me.”
Like Inglis, he’ll seek to make the No.1 jumper his own and will be happy to wear it come round one on March 14 against Cronulla, saying he expects to be fit enough to do it.
Mitchell only has to wait another fortnight after that to potentially don the jersey against his old club, the Sydney Roosters.
Aware it might be fodder for another chapter in the “Book of Feuds” between the clubs, he feels all he can do is play to his peak like he tried to whenever the Roosters played Souths.
“I know what it’s like being on the other side of it,” he said.
“It’s rough and it’s tough. It’s all about passion.”
While he and coach Wayne Bennett seem fairly set on him in the fullback role, there’s no indication just yet about who’ll be on goalkicking duties.
Halfback Adam Reynolds has had a lock on that for much of the past eight years, the sharpshooter bagging 644 goals at 82 per cent since 2012.
But Mitchell wasn’t backward in putting his hand up for that either.
“I’d love to have a crack and start with it, save Reyno’s hamstrings,” he said of his new teammate who has had back and leg issues in recent years.