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'I don't believe anything is going on there': Wighton knocks back disruption chat ahead of Souths move

6th September, 2023
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6th September, 2023
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Jack Wighton has launched a passionate defence of his soon-to-be South Sydney teammate Latrell Mitchell, while insisting he would even “peel the oranges” if it helped Canberra’s NRL finals hopes.

The 241-game Raider agreed in April to join the Rabbitohs from next season – and has watched chaos unfold at his new home ever since. 

A late-season collapse meant Souths missed the finals, while club legend Sam Burgess walked out on his role as assistant coach.

Already a Dally M and Clive Churchill medallist, as well as a State of Origin and World Cup winner, many assumed Wighton had shifted to Souths in search of an NRL title, the only piece of silverware he’s still missing.

But the upbeat Wighton’s enthusiasm for the move hasn’t waned, with the five-eighth suggesting the turmoil surrounding the Bunnies was probably overblown.

“I’m not there and I won’t comment on anything there. For now, I don’t believe anything is going on there,” he told AAP.

“It is what it is, people move on and changes are made … but who knows the actual truth, not you or me.

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“I’ll take it in my stride when I make that move and get to that stage but for now I’m just concentrating on the Raiders.”

Wighton admitted it was difficult to witness the ongoing criticism of his great mate and distant cousin Mitchell, whose perceived special treatment from coach Jason Demetriou was floated as one of the reasons Burgess quit.

That criticism included widely condemned comments from Rod Churchill – son of NRL Immortal Clive Churchill – who called Mitchell a “cancer” and a “complete myth”.

“I feel for Latrell, he’s one of our best showmen, he brings so much joy to crowds in games, and probably revenue too,” Wighton said.

“They all ride on the back of that and then there’s a little slip or stumble, they’re the first to jump on that.”

Wighton categorically rejected rumours he had refused to play fullback for the Raiders across the last two seasons, suggesting he would “peel the oranges for the boys if asked”.

“I played lock for the first time since under-12s this year, I’m in the centres out of position now,” he said.

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“I’ve played fullback before and I’d happily go back. No one’s asked me, I don’t even know where that’s come from.”

© AAP

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