Titans not worried by Fifita contract situation

Scott Bailey |

David Fifita has six weeks to decide if he wants to stay at the struggling Gold Coast Titans.
David Fifita has six weeks to decide if he wants to stay at the struggling Gold Coast Titans.

Gold Coast CEO Steve Mitchell says he has no concerns over David Fifita’s future, despite the second-rower having an option to leave the battling club at year’s end.

Fifita has a deal with the Titans until the end of 2026, but has until round 10 of this year to decide whether to activate the last two years of that contract.

It means the star second-rower is within his rights to walk out on the club at the end of this year, if he is unhappy with the direction the winless Titans are headed.

Fifita has missed Gold Coast’s opening two games through injury, and watched on as they were beaten 28-4 and 32-0 by St George Illawarra and Canterbury.

Mitchell is adamant there were no fears Fifita could walk out on the club.

“I’m not worried,” he said. 

“I spent a fair bit of time with Dave over the last week. He’s very excited about the club. 

“He’s excited about getting back on the field and he wants to play footy. And he’s starting to see that window open up. I’m not worried.”

Mitchell did, however, reveal that Fifita would not return from his pectoral injury on Saturday night against the Dolphins, after he was named on an extended bench.

His return has been pushed back to at least round five, when the Titans take on North Queensland in Townsville.

“He’s not back, but he’s getting close,” Mitchell said. 

“He’s been training hard. He’s excited about coming back. I was with him in Sydney and he’s pretty excited about his ability to get back on the playing field. 

“He’s jumping out of his skin.”

Mitchell also downplayed fears over the Titans’ horror start to the season under new coach Des Hasler, where they have conceded 11 tries and scored one against two bottom-three sides from last year.

Titans captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui has also been ruled out for the season with a knee injury, but Jayden Campbell will return at fullback this week.

“You don’t need to be a genius to say we’d be a little bit underwhelmed by the way we’ve started the year,” Mitchell said.

“But we’re two games into 24. 

“To his point, we’ve got some fundamentals we’ve got to get right and push forward, so we are where we are. 

“What I do like about Des is he has taken ownership and said we need to work through this together, collectively as a group. We’ve got a fantastic squad.”