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'A mate protects a mate': Jack Wighton pushes back on Latrell Mitchell queries, says group has Demetriou's back

Jarred Cross -

South Sydney's Jack Wighton has resisted attempts to have him divulge on his side's woes telling reporters "I'm not here to talk about Latrell", saying he won't turn his back on coach Jason Demetriou as the club battles outside noise.

Facing the media on Tuesday, Wighton faced repeated probes into the environment within the club's four walls after another disastrous weekend on the park pinning them to the bottom of the NRL ladder.

On Monday, Mitchell accepted a three-match ban for his elbow to Warriors half Shaun Johnson, while rumours circle around this weekend's match against the Sharks being Demetriou's last in charge if they fail to notch their second win of the season.

It comes on the same day Mitchell, who was placed on report twice before fulltime in the 34-4 loss, is understood to have a meeting scheduled with senior club officials.

"The meeting was scheduled well before the match against the Warriors," chief executive Blake Solly told the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday afternoon.

"Everyone at the club is invested in getting the best from Latrell on the field this season."

According to Fox Sports, Latrell has addressed the ban with teammates.

It comes amid re-sparked rumours of a potential retirement from the game from the NSW and Indigenous All Stars representative.

According to Braith Anasta on NRL360, Latrell has been told he is unable to get away to his farm on the NSW mid-north coast, a regular getaway from the spotlight for the star, during his time banned from playing.

Asked if he feels Mitchell still wants to play the game, close friend and teammate Wighton responded "of course" before dismissing further enquiries on the fullback.

"I said the other week when people started asking about Latrell. I'm not here to talk about Latrell. You want to talk about him, you ask him," the Wiradjuri man said.

Wighton later added "I am a mate, and a mate protects a mate without talking about him".

Asked on Demetriou's position at the club, Wighton kept tight-lipped saying the playing and coaching group at Souths "have each other's back" and that he personally has faith to repay after arriving from the Raiders ahead of this year.

"The talk is going to be talk out there and I'll just do my best in the field," he said.

"It's not all smooth sailing at the moment. There's things we can fix, and that's what we're looking to do. Day by day we're fixing."

Wighton said he "won't turn my back" on Demetriou after helping bring him to the club.

"He's passionate. He loves his footy. He's been around the game a long time. He's been in the NRL for a long time and you can't be pointing fingers when you're in a tough time. We're all in this together."


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