Fifita is one of the best forwards in the game. Picture by Peter Wallis.
Fifita is one of the best forwards in the game. Picture by Peter Wallis.

Meninga will do whatever it takes to land Fifita

Titans culture chief Mal Meninga has sparked a contract tug of war for David Fifita with the NRL Immortal declaring he will have a "red-hot crack" at poaching the Origin young gun from the Broncos.

Meninga's revelation came as retired Souths star Sam Burgess admitted the Rabbitohs are "out of the race" after detailing his failed trip north to convince Fifita to quit Brisbane and move to Redfern.

The Broncos remain supremely confident of retaining Fifita, who is off-contract at season's end, but that won't stop Meninga holding talks with the 20-year-old armed with a four-year, $3.2 million contract.

 

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Meninga's clout was a key plank in the Titans securing Storm giant Tino Fa'asuamaleaui for 2021 and now the Gold Coast culture boss is gunning for Fifita in a contractual showdown with the Broncos.

Meninga said the 107kg Queensland Origin hulk can be the Titans' version of Cowboys back-row superstar Jason Taumalolo.

"I'll be having a red-hot crack at Dave," Meninga said.

"I'm not sure where we need to be financially, but if he is keen on other options, we're an option.

Fifita is the kind of player who could turn Gold Coast’s fortunes around. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
Fifita is the kind of player who could turn Gold Coast’s fortunes around. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

"David is a fine young kid. He is a marquee player, he is only (20) years of age and he can be the Jason Taumalolo of whatever club he plays at.

"I can see him being the marquee player of the Titans and we can build our club around him.

"Marquee players help you attract players and retain players as well, so if David is available, he's someone I will talk to."

While happy at the Broncos, Fifita admits he is in no rush to sign an extension with Brisbane - giving Meninga and the Titans time to formulate a million-dollar poaching bid for the NRL's hottest back-row talent.

 

 

The Titans are Brisbane's primary threat, with Fifita having no interest in moving to Sydney.

That was demonstrated over summer when Souths forward icon Burgess personally met with Fifita to spruik the Rabbitohs vision, only for the Maroons ace to spurn a five-year, $5 million offer.

"I did go up and meet him. It was a while ago now. It was seven or eight weeks ago," Burgess said.

"Dave had a bit going on at the time as well (after his off-field Bali saga).

"I didn't go into the details of the deal. I just wanted to meet him and see what he was like ... I guess check his temperature, see if he was a good guy, a good character.

"He's a wonderful player. But we've moved on now and I'm sure he's got a number of other clubs chasing him.

Who will win the race for Fifita. Picture by Peter Wallis.
Who will win the race for Fifita. Picture by Peter Wallis.

"We're out of the race ... (it was) just that one (meeting)."

Meninga believes the Titans' geographical proximity to Brisbane can be an attraction for Fifita, who still lives at home with his mother Gwen.

"He'd be really happy with the Broncos. They've nurtured him since he was a young boy. They've given him every opportunity to be who he is at the moment," he said.

"He's very family orientated. He doesn't live too far away from the Broncos with his family. His mum and dad plays a really important role in his decision making. He doesn't want to venture too far away from Brisbane. He doesn't really want to come to Sydney.

"With those things in mind, there's only one other option and it's the Titans.

"We'll welcome him with open arms.

"He's got a few ties with some of our players. We've been lucky enough to recruit other players back into the Titans system from the Broncos."



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