Latrell Mitchell’s manager Wayde Rushton has defended the star’s contract process. Picture: Dan Himbrechts
Latrell Mitchell’s manager Wayde Rushton has defended the star’s contract process. Picture: Dan Himbrechts

‘We’ve done nothing wrong’: Latrell’s manager hits back

Latrell Mitchell's manager has hit back at criticism over the ongoing contract talks surrounding his star client, stressing: "We've done nothing wrong".

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, rising player agent Wayde Rushton has strongly defended the decision to go onto the open market and determine a true worth for Mitchell, the reigning Roosters premiership hero.

While understanding the hype surrounding said negotiations - "that comes with Latrell being one of the game's best" - Rushton did question the motives of "third parties" who were leaking stories to the media.

The manager famed for keeping a small client base also revealed the 22-year-old Kangaroo had not ruled out remaining at Bondi Junction for 2020, where he is still contracted, despite suggestions he will be forced to play reserve grade with North Sydney.

"There is definitely a chance Latrell could be at the Roosters next year," Rushton said.

And as for the threat of playing NSW Cup?

"We've never been told anything like that officially," the agent continued.

"And I'd find it hard to believe that anyone would go from playing Test football to reserve grade with the Bears.

"Unfortunately though, there's a lot of speculation around at the moment.

"And some of that, I can understand.

 

Mitchell may still remain with the Roosters. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Mitchell may still remain with the Roosters. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

"But it's important to remember Latrell is well within his rights to do what he's doing.

"We've done nothing wrong.

"Just because a young footballer doesn't accept the first offer a club throws his way, it doesn't mean he's greedy or ungrateful.

"People need to remember that these young players, they aren't in this game for a long time.

"So why would Latrell not take his time and explore all options available to both him and his family?

 

Rushton said the Townsville pictures weren’t arranged by management. Picture: Evan Morgan
Rushton said the Townsville pictures weren’t arranged by management. Picture: Evan Morgan

 

"Rugby league, undeniably, is big business. And that's exactly how Latrell Mitchell is treating what shapes as the biggest decision of his life."

Rushton added that neither he nor Mitchell were driving the ongoing media hype surrounding negotiations.

Instead, the player agent hinted at disruptive "third parties" who saw "financial motives" in being the one perceived by NRL clubs as able to strike a deal.

Indeed, it has been suggested two well-known rugby league identities recently approached a Sydney club claiming they could finalise the Mitchell deal for a fee of $50,000.

Since going onto the open market in November - when the Roosters withdrew a two-year extension worth $800,000 a season - Mitchell and his manager have engaged in talks with Canterbury, Wests Tigers, North Queensland and Gold Coast.

Other clubs linked to rugby league's No.1 indigenous player have also included Newcastle, South Sydney, Toronto Wolfpack, even Australian Rugby.

"But it's important people know we aren't the ones pushing these stories," Rushton said.

Rushton hadn’t spoken with anyone about Mitchell playing with North Sydney. Picture: Julian Andrews
Rushton hadn’t spoken with anyone about Mitchell playing with North Sydney. Picture: Julian Andrews

 

"Unfortunately, there are other people out there who see financial motives for trying to help Mitchell sort a deal.

"But we've never talked to anyone about Toronto, about rugby union, and it certainly wasn't us who tipped journalists off when we met North Queensland officials in Townsville.

"Obviously, I understand the interest.

"Latrell is not only one of the best players in the game, but one of its biggest drawcards.

"You go into any schoolyard around the State and there's no guessing who most kids want to be in their games of footy - it's Latrell.

"But there are over 150 NRL players off contract in 2020. And more than a dozen who, right now, are still looking to find a club for next year.

"And I can assure you every one of them - and their managers - are trying to secure the best deal possible."

 

Stream over 50 sports Live & On-Demand with KAYO SPORTS on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Just $25/month, no lock-in contract. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >

 

 

Stream over 50 sports Live & On-Demand with KAYO SPORTS on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Just $25/month, no lock-in contract. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >

News Corp Australia


Crews called to leaking Gatton pub after brutal storm

premium_icon Crews called to leaking Gatton pub after brutal storm

Water is reportedly leaking through the roof following a freak storm.

Hervey Bay to Brisbane: Storms, supercell, giant hail

premium_icon Hervey Bay to Brisbane: Storms, supercell, giant hail

Queenslanders warned to expect more severe thunderstorms today

Man faces court charged with murdering pregnant partner

premium_icon Man faces court charged with murdering pregnant partner

Several family members came to support him