It turns out Mitchell isn’t the only Moses that Parramatta were willing to part the seas for.
Wests Tigers millionaire rookie Moses Suli will on Monday meet the Eels for the first time since the NRL club rejected, then tried to lure back three years ago.
“I got axed by Parra in Harold Matthews when I was 16,” Suli told AAP.
“They actually wanted me back but I just didn’t want to go back. I just said I wasn’t interested. I was going good at the Tigers and I just wanted to stay here. And here I am today.
“It’ll be good to get out there, play against them and prove them wrong.”
Suli’s revelations come in the same week star five-eighth Moses is set to play his final game for the Tigers before joining the Eels as soon as the traditional Easter Monday clash is over.
Like Suli, Moses is an Eels junior who was famously told he was too small to play first grade before finding his feet at Concord.
But it took the Eels less than six months to come crawling back to Suli, although the joint venture club were determined not to let him go.
Two years on and the Tongan native was, in January, handed the most lucrative contract for a player who at the time had yet to even finish an under-20s game.
He hasn’t missed a game since making his debut in round one.
“Put it this way, small districts like us wouldn’t let someone like Suli go. We’ve got a good culture at Balmain. Not many kids leave us,” Balmain development coach Michael Frain said.
“We don’t have the big pool to choose from, whereas Parramatta and Penrith do. Anyone that comes from us from other districts, they’ve been rejected from somewhere.
“It’s a bit tough on the big districts, but that’s how we survive in a way. It’s a bit more personal here than some of those bigger clubs.”
Frain said his protege had started his NRL career in solid fashion, but promised the teenager still had plenty to show, particularly if he makes a permanent move into the centres.
As one of the few subtle changes under new coach Ivan Cleary in their upset win over North Queensland last week, Suli started in the three-quarter line alongside Kevin Naiqama.
“He’s never played wing before. Moses is a centre – very strong, good on his feet. He’s a similar player to BJ Leilua, that’s who I’d compare him to,” Frain said.