Latrell move will knock his belief: Cook

South Sydney star Damien Cook believes moving Latrell Mitchell back to centre after two NRL games at fullback will knock his confidence.

LATRELL MITCHELL.
LATRELL MITCHELL. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Abandoning the Latrell Mitchell experiment at fullback will only rattle his confidence, says South Sydney star Damien Cook.

The microscope on Mitchell's highly publicised switch from the Sydney Roosters will only magnify when the Rabbitohs face his former club on Friday.

But the big question is whether coach Wayne Bennett retains the Kangaroos star in the No.1 jumper or pushes him back out to the centres.

Bennett conceded the latter option is certainly on the table given that was where he asked Mitchell to finish in last Friday's defeat to Brisbane.

But Cook believes the move will not only be unfair on the 22-year-old but negatively impact his self-belief.

"It's only been two games. We're one out of two so I think there's obviously still room for improvement as a team," Cook said on Monday.

"To take him out of fullback right now and put him at centre would probably knock his confidence a little bit. We brought him here to be the fullback."

In his two games so far at fullback for the Rabbitohs, Mitchell has averaged 54 metres and five carries, as well as busting one tackle.

In both matches he failed to finish in the key position, with Alex Johnston injected into the contest in the second half on both occasions.

But Cook, who has also played alongside Mitchell at State of Origin and international level, is adamant the new arrival will be a success at fullback.

"We've seen some good signs and things to work on and that all comes with combinations. I believe it will happen," he said.

"Latrell is one of the superstars of our game at such a young age.

"I back him to get the job done and I'm expecting big things, hopefully this weekend against his old club the Roosters."

Cook also urged Mitchell to be more aggressive in attack, saying his new teammate may be underestimating his physical abilities.

"When he does run the ball back from kick returns he makes some great metres. And on the end of the shift plays, he's got great passing," he said.

"He knows when to hit the winger and when to run it himself.

"At the moment we'd like to see him back himself a bit more and run because we've seen how dangerous he can be with the ball when he backs his ability."

Roosters co-captain Jake Friend conceded his former teammate would be out to prove a point against his old club.

"You can definitely tell that Latrell missed a bit of the pre-season there. (But) I feel like he's only going to continue to get better," Friend said.

"I know that coming up against us, we definitely can't underestimate him."

Meanwhile, winger Dane Gagai missed training on Monday with a stomach bug.


AAP