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State of Origin game two: NSW Blues star Latrell Mitchell says Matt Burton can have number 4 jersey

Injured Blues star Latrell Mitchell says Matt Burton could HAVE ‘the number 4’ jersey after the centre’s brilliant Origin debut, but is it really the big compliment it seems?

  • Injured Blues center Latrell Mitchell said Burton could keep the No. 4 jersey
  • Burton was superb for the Blues in their 32-point thrashing over Queensland
  • Mitchell, in fact, usually wears the number 3 jersey for New South Wales

Game Recognizes Game: Fresh off watching NSW debutant Matt Burton’s superb performance in a 44-12 win, injured Blues back Latrell Mitchell commented on social media that Burton ‘could have the number 4 jersey’.

Fans were quick to praise the Rabbitohs star for his “amazing response” to a post asking which centers will be selected for game three, as Mitchell and Jack Wighton will both be available.

But is it really the heartwarming compliment it sounds?

Latrell Mitchell (center) wears the No. 3 jersey for NSW in 2019

Latrell Mitchell (center) wears the No. 3 jersey for NSW in 2019

Mitchell noted on Instagram that Matt Burton will keep a spot in the centers

Mitchell noted on Instagram that Matt Burton will keep a spot in the centers

In fact, the cheeky New South Welshman usually wears the number 3 jersey at Origin level.

Mitchell was able to return for game three and Burton (who wore number 3 for NSW on Sunday night) was indeed able to keep that number 4 jersey!

A popular rugby league podcast posted to Instagram immediately after NSW’s 32-point thrashing over Queensland in Perth, in which Burton took center stage.

Center Matt Burton was one of New South Wales' best players in game two win

Center Matt Burton was one of New South Wales’ best players in game two win

Latrell Mitchell will try to return to the NSW side after missing the first two games

Latrell Mitchell will try to return to the NSW side after missing the first two games

“Game 3 centers will be interesting. Wighton and Latrell will be available, but he certainly can’t drop Burton after this,” the message read.

“Don’t think Critta (Stephen Crichton) deserves to be dropped either, but Wighton was our best in game 1 and in a decider it’s hard to leave Latrell out. Both left players too.’

Mitchell, who posted footage of him in a pub enjoying the game with friends, commented: ‘Burton could have the number 4’

A selfless approach to someone who has played seven games for NSW.

The fact that Mitchell last wore the number 3 jersey at NSW level, NOT the number 4, gives the comment a humorous twist.

A popular rugby league podcast has posted about who NSW's centers could be in game three

A popular rugby league podcast has posted about who NSW’s centers could be in game three

Latrell Mitchell wrestles with Dane Gagai (left) in game three of the 2021 Origin series

Latrell Mitchell wrestles with Dane Gagai (left) in game three of the 2021 Origin series

Mitchell, who was a lock for one of the mid-positions, has missed the first two games for NSW after sustaining a serious hamstring injury while playing for the Rabbitohs on April 9.

The puzzling backline utility was sent to the US to work with renowned medical professionals, but after also contracting COVID-19, it wasn’t ready in time to take its place in the game.

It’s almost certain that if he’s healthy, he’ll return in game three – as he usually ascends to the big Origin stage.

You could argue that Burton himself is a surefire, given the dynamic, yet measured performance he produced.

Matt Burtno (right) celebrates scoring the Blues' first try in game two

Matt Burtno (right) celebrates scoring the Blues’ first try in game two

He offers a kick game that no other center can, and would be equally at home as Cleary in the halves, as Jarome Luai hasn’t been quite impressive this series.

Some tough decisions for Brad Fittler ahead of the Origin decider on July 13 in Brisbane.

But one main question remains.

Who will wear the number four jersey for NSW in game three?

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