Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Latrell Mitchell has always been an amazing Indigenous Australian ambassador.
He has always represented the Aboriginal people with pride both on the field and in the community but has recently had the chance to show off his Australian pride at the Rugby League World Cup.
Some people have taken Mitchell’s love for his Indigenous roots as a sign that he does not share the same passion as his teammates when playing for the Kangaroos but his recent performance at the World Cup has proven that notion false.
Not only has Mitchell’s form at the tournament been a display of his respect and admiration for the Australian national team but his recent comments when speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald upon returning from England have further proven the fullback’s love of being a Kangaroo.
“I didn’t want to put myself in a position there to go over and lose,” said Mitchell.
“Everyone was like that, we were all on the same page from day one.
“We really enjoyed the experience.
“It’s something I’ll remember and cherish forever.
“The Australian World Cup [jersey] is going straight into my man cave, for sure. And my boots.”
Mitchell then went on to discuss the possibility of and speak out against an Indigenous World Cup side but had an idea as to how Indigenous Rugby League can be represented on the world stage.
“What’s going on now [with the Kangaroos], it’s hard to break that up,” Mitchell said.
“You talk about dividing a country; there are other ways to look at it.
“I don’t want to comment on it too much or blow it out of proportion.
“For the Indigenous All-Stars we could tour a bit more.
“Instead of just playing the Maori All-Stars, we could tour England and play England, do that kind of thing.
“That’s probably the best chance we can get.
“We [could] do [other things while playing] for Australia, getting an Indigenous jersey to play in or start doing the dance, performing or something little.
“We can get everything to tie in and be proud of the country.”
Mitchell’s take on this topic is sure to take many by surprise but the 25-year-old’s suggestions would certainly do more to unite Australia’s Rugby League fan base than having a separate Indigenous side.