‘Just a holiday’: Mitchell slams Cowboys recruitment dinner
While Latrell Mitchell can now find the funny side of his ongoing contract saga, former suitors North Queensland won't be laughing after the NRL star admitted he only visited Townsville in the off-season to go fishing.
Mitchell appeared interested in a move north when Sydney Roosters talks broke down and he visited Cowboys headquarters last November.
LIVE stream Indigenous All-Stars v Maori Kiwis in the 2020 Harvey Norman NRL All Stars match on KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Even after signing Valentine Holmes on a lucrative six-year deal, North Queensland coach Paul Green did not rule out the possibility of snaring Mitchell which sparked rumours that the Cowboys would offload Jake Granville to find salary cap space for the X-factor.
But after ending months of speculation and signing with South Sydney last month, Mitchell set the record straight about his trip north when he arrived at the Indigenous All Stars camp on the Gold Coast.
And the Cowboys won't like what they hear.
Asked if he was close to signing with North Queensland, Mitchell laughed: "No, I just enjoyed the fishing, that's all it was.
"I only went for a holiday.
"It's good country up there but too hot for me."
Mitchell can now joke about his tumultuous off-season after knocking back interest from the likes of North Queensland, Gold Coast and Wests Tigers and finding a happy home at Redfern.
And it seems he will have the last laugh on critics of his very public Roosters divorce after quickly clicking with Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett.
"Just the things he says and the conversations he can have with you just flicks a switch and makes you a happy person - it changes your whole day," Mitchell said of the seven-time premiership winning mentor.
"I've just been learning a lot. He knows how to manage people. I love being at Souths at the moment.
"I went through a lot of stuff (in off season) ... now I have a good team around me and I am really enjoying what's ahead."