“He [Mitchell] has won two premierships, so he knows what it is like to be in the finals, and obviously he knows how to win,” Allan said. “Hearing from him all the time is really helping me and [giving me] confidence as well.”
With the Rabbitohs now looking towards the premiership, Mitchell has been providing young South Sydney players with support through their finals journey.
“I’m sure he would love to be a part of it [finals] but he’s not a selfish bloke,” Allan said. “He’s always giving me tips … every message he has been sending me, he’s just telling me how well I’m playing, he’s always for the team.”
“He’s just helping me focus on myself. There is a lot of outside noise that comes with finals footy.”
Young gun Bayley Sironen said Mitchell is still a “massive part” of the group despite being outside the bubble and is talking with the side “week in, week out”.
“Injuries are unfortunately a part of our game. This year, in particular, it’s really hard on those guys because they can’t be in the bubble,” he said. “It is sad but we still try to get around those guys … Latrell’s presence even though he’s not walking around at Redfern is still really felt.”
Sironen also spoke about how the squad had grown closer as a result of the bubble – with the side regularly playing card games at training as well as golf or Call of Duty on PlayStation.
“He [Wayne Bennett] is actually really good at Euchre [card game],” Sironen said. “He comes in and quickly he’ll spray someone or tell someone what they are doing is shocking but every now and then he will jump in with us.”
“It’s been a long year in the sense that we haven’t been able to see family or friends this year, so the relationships we’ve built in the change room has really grown.”
Campbell Graham said that Mitchell was “riding us home”.
“He’s 100 per cent supportive of us,” he said. “It’s obviously a shame that we can’t have him, but Corey’s done a great job I’m sure. A lot of that comes off the back of what Latrell’s inspired Corey with.”
Junior Tatola will come up against his 2016 junior Kangaroos teammates on Saturday night when facing Dylan Edwards, Nathan Cleary and Tyrone May.
“The whole group was pretty much close,” he said on Tuesday. “I always knew they had heaps of talent … we are going to need to come out strong.”
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Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.