Mitchell needs answers after Origin axing

Sydney Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell of the was one of four NSW players dropped for Origin II.
Sydney Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell of the was one of four NSW players dropped for Origin II.

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson hopes Latrell Mitchell gets an answer as to why he was stunningly axed from the NSW State of Origin side.

The superstar centre, as well as clubmate Angus Crichton, only found out they'd been punted by Blues coach Brad Fittler after the Roosters' 38-12 NRL win over Canterbury on Sunday.

Mitchell bagged two tries and kicked five goals in an 18-point performance for the premiers.

But it wasn't enough for Fittler, who described overlooking the 22-year-old - who only a month ago was branded the best player in the world - as the toughest decision of his Origin coaching career.

"I'm sure he's going to be back and I saw he scored a couple of tries today, but we want to set standards and expectations and I most probably didn't think he matched them in the first game," Fittler said on Sunday.

"That's the hardest thing I've had to do so far."

Robinson refused to be critical of Fittler or his right to pick whatever Blues team he liked, but said Mitchell and Crichton were both disappointed.

"And they're both men," Robinson said.

"They know that there is a fair bit of motivation for what they have both done so far in their careers at a young age and what they are going to get to.

"You can be slightly off and not be in a team and that is what's happened.

"I guess the only thing is a bit of clarity about why... it doesn't have to be this week, but knowing what they need to do and what they need to improve."

Fittler provided some clarity at his team naming on Sunday night, saying Mitchell needed to "work on his motivation" after failing to meet "expectations" and "standards" in NSW's series-opening loss to Queensland in Brisbane.

"His training was great (before game one). I didn't get that sign at all, but watching his footy for the Roosters and the game up at Suncorp, we most probably needed more energy, more input into the game," Fittler said.

"And that's why we've gone with someone that will give us more energy.

"Everyone wants to see Latrell play good. Everyone wants to see Latrell play for NSW and Australia. We want him back.

"But he's got to do a bit of hard work... If he's scoring tries you know he's not too far away.

"I hope he gets his smile and swagger back and it won't be too long before he is back playing rep footy."

Australian Associated Press