Latrell Mitchell charged for dangerous tackle but free to play for Blues in Origin opener

  •  Mitchell charged hip-drop tackle in team’s win over Parramatta
  •  He was handed a grade-one charge on Sunday morning
  •  Mitchell is available to be selected for NSW in State of Origin

Latrell Mitchell is available to be selected for NSW in State of Origin after escaping with a fine for a hip-drop tackle in South Sydney’s NRL win over Parramatta.

Mitchell was sin-binned late in the first half of the Rabbitohs’ 42-26 victory on Saturday, after being pulled up by the bunker for a tackle on Eels centre Sean Russell.

He was handed a grade-one charge after the match review on Sunday morning, but is able to escape with a $3000 fine if he pleads guilty.

Mitchell’s Origin availability has been a point of discussion all season, after murmurs he wanted to prioritise playing for South Sydney.

But when Mitchell was asked on Saturday night if he was available for selection, interim Rabbitohs coach Ben Hornby interjected to say the fullback was.

‘All our players are available. If NSW want them, they’re there,’ Hornby said.

‘I’m expecting Latrell and Cody (Walker) to make the team. They’re good enough players and they’ve shown before they should make the team.

‘I know who I wouldn’t want to be playing against if I was playing.’

Mitchell responded to Hornby’s comments, saying ‘100 per cent’.

The 26-year-old is in a battle with Zac Lomax, Jesse Ramien and Matt Burton for the NSW left centre position.

He has not played Origin since 2021, when he was close to NSW’s best in their most recent series victory.

Mitchell has since missed the 2022 and 2023 series while battling injury.

Footy fans were left frustrated with the decision to send Mitchell off in the match. 

‘How is that a hip drop? Absolute rubbish,’ posted one fan on X.

‘Friday night is was Val Holmes binned for nothing now Trell Mitchell is binned for nothing, What is happening to our great game,’ said another.

Footy commentator Warren Smith was also in disbelief at the decision, saying: ‘Latrell Mitchell is incensed. He can’t believe it and frankly, neither can you or I.’