South Sydney’s Latrell Mitchell will prove to be the best signing by a club this year on an individual basis but what he will also do to unlock the best of James Roberts really excites me.
Latrell’s work from fullback is going to be a great boost to the entire side but when Jimmy was in the centres at Brisbane he struggled to get the good ball he needs to showcase his best.
It was often a case of, ‘here you go Jimmy, do your best’.
Latrell has really good hands and when he is getting tackled in traffic he has an outstanding offload.
All has to do is pop it to Jimmy and with open space no-one is going to catch him.
'The Jet' has got himself in great shape and the afterburners will really fire up when Latrell sets him free.
I would like to see Wayne Bennett use Jimmy Roberts the same way he used me when I was at the Broncos.
The weapons Latrell brings to his fullback switch
I had good feeders like Kevin Walters and Julian O’Neill. I had them all. The thing is that Jimmy knows how to sniff out a try and doesn’t need to be getting the ball flat-footed.
It is about Wayne saying that he needs to come onto the ball and in space. He needs to have space created and that is what Latrell will do for him.
Jimmy and Latrell are very close mates and I think that rapport and understanding off the field will help them on it.
Latrell is also going to be a member of a creative and damaging Rabbitohs spine with Cody Walker, Adam Reynolds and Damien Cook all at the peak of their powers.
Latrell is going to get plenty of opportunities from those three and with Jimmy following him closely, that augurs well for the Rabbitohs.
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The Rabbitohs have lost Sam Burgess, George Burgess and John Sutton from last year but it is still a strong forward pack that can hold its own and give the backline, and Latrell in particular, the space they need.
I reckon this pack will prove a few people wrong this year.
Wayne will have been working very hard one-on-one with the individual members of that pack. That’s his thing.
It will be a big year for back-rower Jaydn Su’A and Wayne is obviously a fan of his after signing him from Brisbane.
Su'A has enough nous and aggression in his game and I think Wayne is the coach to get him going.
I can see Cameron Murray being lethal playing on an edge this year. That move will assist his longevity in the game and I predict it helping the backline when he pokes his nose through the line.
Ethan Lowe had that great game for Queensland on debut last year. He just needs to bottle that and reproduce it this season.
We’ve seen Liam Knight have a breakout season in 2019 and I only expect him to get better.
The forward I expect to really lift is Tom Burgess.
Sure, he has big boots to fill with brothers Sam and George gone, but the extra responsibility could be a good thing.
He is only 27 and I can see Tom taking his game to another level as the real leader of the pack.
It all starts for the Rabbitohs on Saturday night against the Sharks at ANZ Stadium and I'm really looking forward to watching Latrell and Jimmy do their thing.
The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.