Angry Latrell Mitchell says Cody Walker’s critics ‘need to shut up’ and slams ex-players turned pundits for ‘knocking players down’
- Mitchell backed out-of-form five-eighth Walker to the hilt after criticism
- Fullback said he came to Souths especially to play with his talented teammate
Latrell Mitchell has delivered a passionate defence of Souths teammate Cody Walker, telling the five-eighth’s critics they should ‘shut up and sit back’.
The Rabbitohs playmaker’s performances have been put under the spotlight as the Bunnies have failed to produce anything like the kind of football that took them to the grand final last season.
Walker’s off-field indiscretions have only exacerbated the scrutiny, leading to speculations Souths may not extend his contract past the end of the 2023 season.
Mitchell, however, insisted his teammate remained one of the outstanding players in the competition.
Mitchell backed Walker (pictured together) to the hilt and said he came to Souths especially to play with the talented five-eighth
‘I came to play at Souths [from the Roosters] to enjoy my footy with Cody Walker because I know what type of player he is and what type of teammate he is,’ the star fullback told News Corp.
‘He makes the team better when he’s on.’
Mitchell believes Souths are the perfect environment for his teammate as ‘they gave him the opportunity to be Cody Walker’ and suggested the criticism Walker has copped this season was unjustified.
‘I think a lot of people need to shut up, sit back and let his footy do the talking,’ he added.
‘It’s frustrating to see because he puts so much effort into it.’
Mitchell, who is nearing a return to action after recovering from a hamstring injury and Covid-19, was particularly scathing of former players turned pundits.
Mitchell – seen here scoring a try in the Bunnies’ round three win over the Roosters – says ex-players are failing rugby league when they tear down current stars
The 24-year-old hinted that the constant criticism some of his colleagues were subject to could have detrimental effect on the NRL as a whole in the long-term, as it risked putting off kids from taking up rugby league.
‘Give some constructive criticism, tell people what you think he needs to work on and let it happen,’ he said.
‘How do we build this game up if we’re going to keep knocking our players down? […] We shouldn’t be running players down, the next up-and-comer.’