There was talk the Tigers were prepared to play Mitchell at fullback and table a three-year deal worth just shy of $3m.
On this particular morning, however, the Tigers simply wanted to find out how serious Mitchell was about leaving the defending two-time premiers.
They were impressed, but also privately knew before they had even made it back as far as Newcastle the superstar was unlikely to join them.
Any deal was not going to be on the table long. Mitchell was about to split with Rushton, and the Tigers did not want to be involved in any drawn-out signing soap opera.
The Tigers’ brand had suffered a hit just a few years earlier when negotiations involving controversial agent Isaac Moses and the club’s “big four” – James Tedesco, Aaron Woods, Mitch Moses and Luke Brooks – played out in public.
In the end the Tigers landed Doueihi who only became available when Mitchell lobbed at Souths.
Doueihi was first told by coach Wayne Bennett he would play five-eighth, only for the club to re-sign Cody Walker. He was then was promised fullback, only for Mitchell to come on board.
The Tigers are certainly happy with how things have panned out, especially given how quickly Doueihi has been embraced by his teammates.
“We think Adam has got enormous upside and he’s a future leader of this club,” Pascoe told the Herald.
Souths and Tigers fans will naturally be split when it comes to which player has provided more bang for their club’s buck after eight rounds.
It would be foolish to place Doueihi in the same category as Mitchell, a two-time premiership winner who has already played Origin and for Australia, but he has shown enough to suggest he is destined for representative honours.
Tigers players this week spoke to the Herald about Doueihi’s impact at the back and they were certainly not complaining about missing out on Mitchell.
“We know Latrell met with the Tigers and ‘Madge’ [Maguire], but we’ve done well to get Adam, he’s a character and he’s fit in well – he’s a Balmain junior, which makes it even better,” winger David Nofoaluma said.
Skipper Moses Mbye said: “Adam and Latrell are two quality players. Latrell has won premierships, played for his state and country and you’d think he’s head and shoulders above Adam Doueihi in terms of what he’s done in the game.
“The thing that has impressed me most about Adam is he’s consistently improving. We don’t know where the limit is for Adam. Latrell is a great player – Adam is heading in the right direction to become a great player and who knows how far he’ll go.”
Maguire won a drought-breaking prempiership with Souths in 2014 and handed Doueihi his NRL debut when they were at the Redfern club.
“Adam is growing into his position and his presence within this team has been a big part for us,” Maguire said.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.