• Latrell MItchell signs with South Sydney. (AAP)Source: AAP
After a drawn out saga regarding his playing future, the former Rooster says it was a decision based on family to join arch-rivals South Sydney.
By
Brooke Fryer

13 Jan 2020 - 5:00 PM  UPDATED 13 Jan 2020 - 7:21 PM

In what will be added as the latest chapter in South Sydney owners Russell Crowe's 'Book of feuds', Latrell Mitchell has officially jumped ship from the Sydney Roosters to his new home at Redfern.

The 22-year-old signed a one-year $600,000 deal with the Rabbitohs for this year, with a club-favoured option for season 2021.

He says its the "best decision" he's made so far in his four-year career. 

"I know the family side of it, just by Cody (Walker) and Jimmy (James Roberts), just the way they talk about the club and Wayne and being under him [and] the way they (the club) treat their families is the biggest thing I looked at," Mr Mitchell said to media on Monday afternoon. 

"I didn't want to rush anything, I love the Roosters and didn't want to regret anything... I just feel as though this is the best decision I've made in my career. 

"I want to see where Wayne can take my footy for me as a coach."

Mitchell was formally released by the Roosters on Monday morning, although he did announce via Instagram on Friday that his time at the club was up.

An eventful 2019 

The two-time premiership winner had an eventful 2019, including the controversial decision to boycott the national anthem ahead of game one of the State of Origin, along with South Sydney player Cody Walker. 

Following this, the two were axed from the NSW Blues team for game two. Over the Black Dot panelist Timana Tahu claimed that action was taken in response to the national anthem boycott. 

“It’s hard for an Indigenous person to stand up for their rights and when you’re at a sporting level, when you come out and are strong in your opinion and voice, certain people don’t like it and a lot of the mainstream media captures those responses," Mr Tahu said in a column for NITV. 

Mr Mitchell was also the subject of racist comments online, where he wasn't shy on calling out the social media abuse. 

In August, Mr Mitchell shared to Instagram a racist rant against him from Facebook which led to an investigation by the NRL Integrity Unit. He said that once he began to call out racism, it began to get worse. 

But despite this, Mr Mitchell told the NRL that he won't give up his ambitions to end racism. 

"I just want to be a great role model for my people and the kids. They have grown up with it," he said.

"I want them to set a standard for themselves where they can grow up and get this out of their lives.

Before locking in the contract with South Sydney, Mr Mitchell's future with the NRL was up in the air as he openly expressed the desire to explore his options for 2021. 

The Wests Tigers reportedly offered Mitchell $1 million per season for four years but couldn't finalise a move, while Gold Coast, North Queensland and Canterbury were also touted as possible destinations.

"Mentally I've dealt with it well for my age. Going through the stage where everyone was speculating. It hit my family the most. My mum was in tears with all the stories and that's where it hit home. That's the hardest part about all this stuff," Mr Mitchell said. 

But now Mr Mitchell's dad Matt has said his son is home. 

"We are greatful for the Sydney Rabbitohs  and what they have done for Latrell," he said. 

"I am a very proud Rabbitohs support and I suppose it is a homecoming for my son." 

Mitchell will commence training with his new teammates tomorrow, and is tipped to be the Rabbitohs' first-choice fullback for season 2020.