Joey Manu reveals it took MONTHS for feeling to return to his face after it was shattered by Latrell Mitchell hit – but says he holds no ill will for Souths star ahead of ‘grudge match of the century’
- Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell left Roosters rival with fractured cheekbone
- Joey Manu insists the incident is old news, has no ill-will towards his ‘good mate’
- The foundation rugby league clubs square off on Friday night in blockbuster
- Rabbitohs and Roosters rivalry is one of the most intense in Australian sport
Sydney Roosters star Joey Manu has revealed it took months for the feeling to properly return to his face after his cheekbone was shattered in a sickening tackle by former teammate Latrell Mitchell last August.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s highly anticipated grudge match versus South Sydney at Accor Stadium, the New Zealand international insists he doesn’t resent the Rabbitohs fullback.
Mitchell was suspended for six matches following the incident in what was the latest chapter in the ‘Book of Feuds’ between the two NRL clubs.
‘He just got it (hit) wrong. He (Mitchell) just wanted to smash me. Which is sweet,’ Manu said.
‘He is a competitive guy and I am (also) pretty competitive. The external noise and the build-up this week will be big. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve always enjoyed playing Souths.’
Sydney Roosters star Joey Manu has revealed it took months for the feeling to properly return to his face after his cheekbone was shattered in a sickening tackle by former teammate Latrell Mitchell last August
Manu was furious after the hit that ended his season, and let Latrell Mitchell know in tense scenes (pictured)
Joey Manu and Latrell Mitchell were teammates at the Roosters before Souths made a play for the Indigenous star (right)
Mitchell was suspended for six matches following the sickening hit on Manu (pictured)
Manu confirmed Mitchell reached out after the on-field collision and that the pair remain mates – although they haven’t spoken since the incident.
‘It will be good to see him and talk,’ Manu told the Daily Telegraph.
‘I think we’re still friends. It will be good to see him and see how he is going. We’ve been mates for a while. It will stay that way.
‘When we at the Roosters, we used to bash each other at training. It was Aussies against Kiwis. I’d get him and he’d get me.’
Mitchell is well aware he will be targeted by the Tricolours, with enforcers Victor Radley and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves the chief candidates.
Veteran Kiwi prop Waerea-Hargreaves was fuming after Mitchell’s perceived ‘dog shot’ on Manu.
In tense scenes at Suncorp Stadium, the sideline exchange moments after was anything but cordial.
‘I know there’ll be headhunting, but that’s the game,’ Mitchell told Fox League.
Kick-off is 8.05pm, with the Rabbitohs still searching for their first win of the season.