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Why Souths are buzzing for Wighton debut

Mitchell himself opened up about his relationship with Wighton last month when he told this masthead: “Jack is infectious – you want to be around people like that, and he shines a better light on some things.

“For me, it’s Jack’s energy – he’s energetic about life, and he doesn’t take everything so seriously. We bring out the inner child in each other, and don’t take life too seriously.”

Latrell Mitchell takes a moment at Souths training on Thursday

Latrell Mitchell takes a moment at Souths training on ThursdayCredit: Kate Geraghty/SMH

Former Raiders favourite Wighton missed the first two games of the season through suspension and will start on the left edge against Roosters international Joey Manu.

Coach Jason Demetriou was excited about Wighton’s debut. “The energy he has brought to this place has been infectious,” he said.

Souths chief executive Blake Solly said: “I think Jack’s arrival could not have come at a better time for the whole team, including Latrell. The reason we signed him was his experience and maturity and competitiveness. At times like this at any club, that’s what you need to get back into form.

Skipper Cameron Murray, who plays his 150th NRL game, played a key role alog with Mitchell in convincing Wighton to leave the nation’s capital for Heffron Park. “Those two get along well,” he said. “They’re cousins. I know Trell loves playing with one of his best mates, and vice versa with Jack.

That’s my boy: Jack Wighton and Latrell Mitchell having a laugh at South Sydney training.

That’s my boy: Jack Wighton and Latrell Mitchell having a laugh at South Sydney training.Credit: South Sydney Rabbitohs

“At the end of the World Cup in 2022, when Jack announced his rep retirement, we all thought it was the last time we’d lace a boot up with him.

“Everyone has got a little energy boost with him back in our side, and being able to play with him again.

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“He’s an experienced head, everyone listens to him when he talks, he’s great for culture, has a lot of leadership and knowledge to share, and that will be helpful in the big moments.

“The best trait is he’s a competitor who wants to win – you want to run out with 13 blokes who want to fight hard.”

Demetriou backed Murray to double his output and play 300 NRL games. “If he was available [on the open market], every club in the comp would want him,” he said.

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