Fifita no closer to contract call as deadline looms

Alex Mitchell |

David Fifita’s focus has been on improving since a pre-season injury, not his next contract.
David Fifita’s focus has been on improving since a pre-season injury, not his next contract.

Des Hasler says he hasn’t been speaking with David Fifita about his future at Gold Coast, as the star second-rower’s decision about hitting the open market quickly approaches.

The Queensland State of Origin forward has until round 10 to decide if he wants to activate the last two years of his contract and stay with the Titans until the end of 2026.

That means Fifita has little more than a week to inform the club he’ll be leaving at the end of the season.

Heading into round nine, coach Hasler said his discussions with the 24-year-old hadn’t centred around his future despite the looming deadline.

And Hasler, who only joined the Titans this season and has overseen the side’s 1-6 start, denied it was “strange” Fifita had let the decision drag out.

“It’s just the way the contract … is structured,” he said.

“We haven’t discussed (the contract) at all.

“It’s just been really focused on (playing against the Melbourne Storm), focused on getting that consistency and the runs on the board.”

David Fifita.
David Fifita takes two Dolphins defenders with him during their clash on the Gold Coast. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

After an off-season pectoral muscle injury, Fifita has come off the bench in four of five outings since returning to the line-up.

And Hasler wouldn’t be drawn on returning his star man to the starting side.

“Wait and see … it’s pretty well documented with his off-season that he didn’t have one,” he said.

“We’ve been managing his time and managing getting that fitness as well. We’ll see how the side settles moving into Saturday.”

Hasler was at his cagey best during Thursday’s pre-match press conference, batting away questions about the club’s links with Melbourne halfback Jahrome Hughes and Wallabies play-maker Carter Gordon.

Reports suggested Gordon’s management met with the Titans but were put off by a high asking price.

Hasler said he hadn’t met with the 23-year-old, and replied “we don’t discuss contracts” when asked if club officials had.

He gave a similar answer when asked about Hughes, who’s contracted with the Storm until the end of 2026.

“We don’t discuss contracts here, but he’s still got two years to go so I can’t go near that,” Hasler said.