Bradman Best in fresh injury concern for NSW before Origin 3 amid horror Latrell Mitchell update

Best is in doubt for Game 3 after pulling up from the Knights' win over the Raiders with hamstring soreness.

Less than 24 hours after it was revealed that Bradman Best had won the race to take Latrell Mitchell's spot in the NSW team for the State of Origin decider, his hopes of taking the field have been plunged into doubt after pulling up from the Knights' gritty win over the Raiders on Sunday with hamstring tightness. Mitchell had a blinder for NSW in Game 2 at the MCG but suffered a Lisfranc injury in the Rabbitohs' win over Parramatta last Thursday.

The Lisfranc ligament is often referred to as the “ACL of the foot”, and it was revealed over the weekend that Mitchell will miss at least the next month of football, ruling him out for Game 3. While his injury is clearly a blow for the Blues' hopes, luckily NSW have a ready-made replacement at left centre in Best, who has been in great form for Newcastle in recent weeks.

Pictured Bradman Best left and right Latrell Mitchell
Latrell Mitchell's NSW Blues replacement, Bradman Best, is in doubt for the series decider with a hamstring concern. Image: Getty

The Knights centre was viewed as an obvious choice for coach Michael Maguire, with the 22-year-old offering a similar body shape to Mitchell and a similar devastating running game. "Bradman will bring what Bradman brings," Maguire said.

"Especially his development in the past 12 months, and sitting with Bradman, how he sees his game and his professionalism. He is a real pro about what he does. I talk to the staff up there and they say how diligent he is about how he gets everything right."

However, his hopes of playing in the series decider have now been plunged into doubt, with the barnstorming centre being sent for scans on his tight hamstring in another injury concern for NSW ahead of Game 3. Best made his Origin debut in Game 3 of last year's series, scoring two tries in a 24-10 win for NSW.

But hamstring injuries are sadly something he is all too accustomed to, with the latest potential setback marking his third hamstring concern in 2024 alone. Best missed three weeks earlier this season after aggravating his hamstring issue in the Knights' win over Gold Coast in round 11, ruling him out of contention for Game 1.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12: Bradman Best of the Blues celebrates scoring a try during game three of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on July 12, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
Bradman Best made his Origin debut in Game 3 of last year's series, scoring two tries in a 24-10 win for NSW.

NSW confirmed that Matt Burton will be 18th man for the Suncorp Stadium decider, while the dropped Haumole Olakau'atu will act as a reserve. Luke Keary will also join the camp as the Blues' third reserve.

RELATED:

Mitchell will meet with specialists on Tuesday, and reports are that his season will be over if he needs surgery. Even if he does not require surgery, Mitchell will miss at least the next month of football. Either way, it looks likely that the Rabbitohs' hopes of making finals are over.

Souths have won five games on the trot and moved to within two points of the top eight after their win in Round 18. But Mitchell has been an integral part of their recent success and it is hard to see the Bunnies going on with it without their star man.

"It’s a shame to lose Latrell, he was great for us in camp, but we are spoiled for choice with players who have played in that centre spot," NSW coach Maguire told the Daily Telegraph on Sunday evening. “It’s one of those things. It’s Origin. It happens week in and week out in the NRL where a team suddenly changes due to circumstances.

"Yes, it’s a blow, we know what he is capable of, but I actually thought it was a great team performance in Melbourne and that helped bring out the best in Latrell. That team performance is what we will be chasing again at Suncorp. Latrell definitely played his part in Game 2 and we just need his replacement and the other guys to play their part in Origin 3."

  1. Dylan Edwards

  2. Brian To'o

  3. Stephen Crichton

  4. Bradman Best

  5. Zac Lomax

  6. Jarome Luai

  7. Mitchell Moses

  8. Jake Trbojevic

  9. Reece Robson

  10. Payne Haas

  11. Liam Martin

  12. Angus Crichton

  13. Cameron Murray

  14. Connor Watson

  15. Isaah Yeo

  16. Mitchell Barnett

  17. Spencer Leniu

with AAP