Joseph Manu has been tipped for great things by the man he came up against on his Kiwis debut in Auckland at the weekend.
Latrell Mitchell, who along with Manu helped Sydney Roosters win last season's NRL premiership, lined up against him in Australia's 26-24 defeat in the trans-Tasman Test at Mt Smart Stadium.
It was the Test debut for both players, and Mitchell has no problem admitting it was Manu who came out on top.
I don't doubt he'll be the best centre in the game one day - probably could even be next year.Latrell Mitchell
The 22-year-old scored a try and had another disallowed, as well as laying on a four-pointer for winger Jordan Rapana.
Mitchell called his Tricolours teammate an "unbelievable talent", adding: "I don't doubt he'll be the best centre in the game one day - probably could even be next year.
"He just turns it on. I think he can go to another level; he has showed that."
The pair both scored tries in the Roosters' 21-6 grand final victory over Melbourne Storm.
For Mitchell it came after he'd helped NSW to State of Origin glory, and he's delighted Manu has also been given a representative chance for his form this year.
"The way he's played the last two years, I've seen him grow as a player," said Mitchell of the man he's played alongside since their days in the SG Ball competition. "He's an unbelievable talent and the things he does I wish I could do."
Mitchell had the best of things early on against the Kiwis, sending winger Valentine Holmes over for a try in just the third minute.
But Manu fended him off to score in the 34th minute and offloaded in a tackle by the Kangaroos' left-edge pairing for Jordan Rapana to cross in the 67th minute.
Meanwhile, Australia are 1.28 to win their next game against Tonga, who are 3.85. The Kangaroos are 1.95 conceding a 10.5-points start.
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