15 June, 2024
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Titans star Fifita opens up on toll of contract saga


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David Fifita stands by his call to renege on a promise to join the Sydney Roosters.

But the Gold Coast star also revealed on Saturday the mental and physical toll he endured after weeks of deliberation and speculation about his playing future. 

In his first interview since the backflip that stunned rugby league, Fifita disclosed giving coach Des Hasler “a chance” and the opportunity to be close to loved ones were the main factors that encouraged him to stay with the Titans.

Fifita declined a contract option earlier this month to remain at the Titans for 2025 and appeared set to join either the Roosters or Penrith on a big-money deal.

But less than a week after verbally agreeing to a contract at the Roosters, Fifita informed the club he’d been having second thoughts, prompting Easts to withdraw their offer.

Fifita has now activated his option to re-sign with the Titans for two more seasons in a huge boost to the club as it reconfigures under first-year coach Hasler.

Rated one of the best second-rowers in the NRL, Fifita sent shock waves through the NRL with his change of heart after weeks of headlines about his contract status.

“It’s been a big couple of weeks for myself and my close ones,” Fifita told the TItans website, speaking for the first time since the saga.

“It does take a toll on you, mentally and physically but I made my decision now. 

“As tough as it was the past couple of weeks for myself and my loved ones, I’ve come to a decision. I’m here now and I’m not looking back. 

“That’s the only thing that matters, with the boys and the coaching staff and Des. I’m happy that I’m here.”

Fifita felt he owed it to Hasler to stick around beyond 2024.

Hasler arrived on the Glitter Strip this season and became the only premiership-winning coach to lead the Titans since their inception in 2007.

Gold Coast began his tenure with a six-game losing streak but have since lifted their game to defeat the Warriors and North Queensland and showed promise in tight losses to Melbourne and Newcastle.

“(I needed to) give Des a chance,” Fifita said.

“He’s different but he’s a good different for myself. I think I need that, going forward. With this group here, we can do a lot.”

Fifita was also hesitant to leave loved ones behind and move to Sydney.

The 24-year-old was born and raised in South East Queensland and dates NRLW player Shaylee Bent, who also plays for Gold Coast.

“Being a Queensland boy, I just feel like I needed to be around my family and I needed to look after them, and I needed to look after what’s best for me,” he said.

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