Injured Blues star Latrell Mitchell says Matt Burton ‘can HAVE the number 4’ jersey after the centre’s brilliant Origin debut, but is it really the big compliment it seems?
- Injured Blues centre Latrell Mitchell said Burton could keep the number 4 jersey
- Burton was sublime for the Blues in their 32-point thrashing over Queensland
- Mitchell in fact usually wears the number 3 jersey for New South Wales
Game recognises game: fresh off watching NSW debutant Matt Burton’s sublime performance in a 44-12 win, injured Blues back Latrell Mitchell commented on social media that Burton could ‘have the number 4 jersey’.
Fans were quick to praise the Rabbitohs star for his ‘great response’ to a post that questioned what centres will be selected for game three, given Mitchell and Jack Wighton will both be available.
But is it really the heart-warming compliment it sounds like?
Latrell Mitchell (centre) wearing the number 3 jersey for NSW in 2019
Mitchell commented on Instagram about Matt Burton retaining a spot in the centres
The cheeky New South Welshman in fact usually wears the number 3 jersey at Origin level.
Mitchell could return for game three and Burton (who wore number 3 for NSW on Sunday night) could indeed keep that number 4 jersey!
A popular rugby league podcast posted on Instagram immediately after NSW’s 32-point thrashing over Queensland in Perth, in which Burton was sublime at centre.
Centre Matt Burton was one of New South Waless’ best players in the game two win
Latrell Mitchell will look to return to the NSW side after missing the opening two games
‘Game 3 centres will be interesting. Wighton and Latrell will be available but surely he can’t drop Burton after this,’ the post read.
‘Don’t think Critta (Stephen Crichton) deserves to be dropped either, but Wighton was our best in game 1 and in a decider, Latrell is tough to leave out. Both left side players too.’
Mitchell, who posted footage of him out at a pub enjoying the game with mates, commented: ‘Burton can have the number 4’
A self-less approach from one of someone who has played seven matches for NSW.
The fact Mitchell last wore the number 3 jersey at NSW level, NOT the number 4, gives the comment a humourous twist.
A popular rugby league podcast posted about who NSW’s centres might be in game three
Latrell Mitchell wrestles with Dane Gagai (left) in game three of the 2021 Origin series
Mitchell, who was a lock for one of the centre positions, has missed the opening two games for NSW after suffering a severe hamstring injury while playing for the Rabbitohs on April 9.
The enigmatic backline utility was sent to work with renowned medical professionals over in the USA, but after also contracting COVID-19, he was not ready in time to take his place in game.
He is almost a certainty to return, if healthy, in game three – because he usually lifts for the big Origin stage.
One could make the case Burton himself is a certainly, given the dynamic, yet measured, performance he produced.
Matt Burtno (right) celebrates scoring the Blues’ first try in game two
He offers a kicking game no other centre can, and would equally be at home partnering Cleary in the halves, given Jarome Luai hasn’t been entirely impressive this series.
Some tough decisions for Brad Fittler ahead of the Origin decider on July 13 in Brisbane.
But one main question remains.
Who will wear the number four jersey for NSW in game three?