Titans adamant Fifita can win premiership on Gold Coast

Scott Bailey |

Gold Coast second-rower David Fifita (c) is in demand as he decides his NRL future.
Gold Coast second-rower David Fifita (c) is in demand as he decides his NRL future.

Kieran Foran has rejected suggestions David Fifita needs to leave Gold Coast if he wants to win a premiership, as the clock ticks down on the second-rower’s contract deadline.

Fifita has until Thursday night to take up an option in his NRL contract to remain at the Titans for the next two years, on a deal worth close to $1 million a season.

The situation is looking increasingly difficult for the Titans, after Fifita flew to Sydney over the weekend to field a three-year deal from Penrith.

The Sydney Roosters also remain some chance of securing the second-rower, with significant salary cap space available for 2025 and beyond.

Both clubs hold genuine appeal for Fifita.

The Panthers have made the second-rower their clear No.1 target and are desperate to get negotiations over the line.

As three-time defending premiers, Fifita will know he is walking into a system that can win titles.

Like Penrith, the Roosters also face a player drain at year’s end but have played finals in 10 of the past 11 seasons under Trent Robinson.

In contrast, the Titans are 1-7 to start this year and need to convince Fifita they are on an upward swing that can make them genuine contenders during his deal.

But Foran said it was unfair for Gold Coast not to be considered as a club players can win premierships at.

“I don’t agree with that,” Foran said.

“People are entitled to their opinion and rightly so. Penrith have been a wonderful club for a long time.

“We’re also building here. It’d be naive to think we haven’t improved dramatically.

“I know the results don’t show that yet, but if you know your footy you can see we’re heading in the right direction and sooner or later it’s going to click.

“When it does, we’re in for a few exciting years ahead.”

Fifita was at Titans training on Tuesday, and Foran said players had not bugged the Queensland State of Origin representative about his future.

“We’re giving him the time and space he needs,” Foran said.

“We love him. He’s been a big part of this club for a long time. His career speaks for itself.”

Penrith players were also hoping for good news on Fifita, who would offer strike power in the second row not seen since Viliame Kikau’s exit at the end of 2022.

The Panthers would likely move Scott Sorenson into the front row if Fifita arrived, as they search for a way to replace James Fisher-Harris at year’s end.

“It’s got that potential to be like Kiks. He’s a big body, he moves well, so there are definitely similarities there,” fullback Dylan Edwards said.

“He’d have to have a lot of training under his belt to get up to speed with our system and the way we want to play footy. 

“Our backrowers are quality at the moment too. But he’s a class player and can do things in the game that not many people could do.”

AAP