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Blues’ Latrell Mitchell ruled out of Origin I

Latrell Mitchell will miss the Origin series opener against Queensland with a calf injury.

Latrell Mitchell will miss the Origin series opener against Queensland with a calf injury. Photo: AAP

NSW’s preparations for State of Origin I have been dealt a huge blow with Latrell Mitchell ruled out of the series opener against Queensland.

The Blues confirmed on Monday morning prior to their flight to Adelaide that a calf injury would prevent the South Sydney superstar from featuring for Brad Fittler’s side.

Mitchell’s injury is not thought to be a long-term issue – Game II is in Brisbane on June 21 – but the Blues were concerned about carrying him into Wednesday night’s opener at Adelaide Oval if he was underdone.

The 25-year-old missed all of last year’s series with a hamstring issue and former NSW playmaker Matthew Johns said Mitchell’s loss would be felt in more ways than one.

“It’s the intimidation factor, it’s a bit like being a boxer and stepping into the ring with Mike Tyson,” Johns told SEN.

“Latrell has so much intimidation and presence and you lose a lot of that.”

Stephen Crichton will move into Mitchell’s vacant centre spot, with Canterbury five-eighth Matt Burton rushed into the NSW camp to act as 19th man.

– AAP

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