South Sydney Rabbitohs face a potential shake-up as they explore the possibility of re-positioning Latrell Mitchell to carve space for Jack Wighton, subjecting their past season of shortfall to close scrutiny. Mitchell, who currently adorns the No.1 jersey, is set to be the centre of off-season deliberations as the club embarks on asserting itself in the premiership race again, following a season of heavily felt disappointments under their coach Jason Demetriou.
An inside source from the club verbally signalled that Demetriou’s strategy on Mitchell’s future on-field positioning will be questioned throughout this internal evaluation.
Simultaneously, Sam Burgess, former South Sydney player, accentuated his dedication to taking up coaching responsibilities at the UK’s Super League outfit, Warrington, amid the swirling rumour mill alluding towards his potential appointment as the chief coach of South Sydney in the forthcoming season.
Echoing the secrecy thread, an anonymous official from Warrington confirmed the club’s awareness around the speculative chatter that a senior individual from the Rabbitohs expressed an interest in attempting to persuade Burgess to reconsider his recent departure from the Rabbitohs team.
Warrington has been informed about an anticipated exchange deal of the same vein that could result in Demetriou heading towards Super League while Burgess decided to stay put in Australia. Nevertheless, both South Sydney‘s management and Burgess himself refused to lend credence to these claims of Demetriou being dislodged.
Russell Crowe, South Sydney‘s co-owner, shares close ties with Warrington’s owner Simon Moran, and went on record to extend a professional recommendation on behalf of Burgess when he was in the process of applying for this new coaching role.
The maelstrom of doubt encircling Demetriou’s coaching efficacy further exacerbates the stress upon the coach, especially following the team’s step down from the first position after eleven rounds, ultimately not making the cut for the finals despite pulling off a measly four wins out of their last thirteen matches.
Despite Demetriou securing a three-year extension halfway into the season, his future is expected to be under the microscope unless he can successfully reignite South Sydney‘s competitive spark in the approaching year.
One of his most critical decisions this off-season would involve deciding Mitchell’s playing position, with the latter receiving a fair share of criticism in the recent weeks for lacking adequate conditioning and dedication to replicate the top-tier performance as a fullback.
With Blake Taafe, Mitchell’s fullback secondary, moving on to Bulldogs in the ensuing year, it would pave the way for Canberra sensation, Jack Wighton. An existing belief within the organization states that Mitchell could regain his imposing form by offering him a free rein from the centre position, thereby, authorizing Wighton to pick the off-ball duties that players like James Tedesco and Dylan Edwards often tend to overlook.