Fifita revelation to send shockwaves through NRL
Rising Broncos star David Fifita has revealed he isn't sure if he will remain in Brisbane beyond 2020.
Fifita, 19, is the NRL's hottest free agent, with a host of clubs lining up to poach the Queensland Origin gun from Red Hill on multi-million dollar deals.
The Broncos were in the box seat to retain Fifita long-term after helping free him from a Bali jail following the alleged assault of a nightclub bouncer last November.
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Fifita has already rejected advances from South Sydney and the New Zealand Warriors, prompting rival clubs to believe he had committed to Brisbane.
But in a revealing interview with The Sunday Mail, Fifita declared he was in no rush to sign a new deal.
"I'm not too sure what I'm going to do to be honest," he said.
"I want to play this year out and see what happens.
"I've been (with the Broncos) ever since I was young, coming through the juniors. They have been really good for me since I was young until now.
"I'm happy at the Broncos. I'm happy in general.
"We'll see what happens. It's a business at the end of the day, you know how it works."
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Fifita's declaration will send shockwaves through the NRL's player market.
Rival clubs were so certain the rampaging forward would remain in Brisbane beyond this year that they cooled on pursuing his signature.
The first NRL player born this century, Fifita has already made 35 first-grade appearances since debuting in 2018 as an 18-year-old.
His breakout 2019 campaign was followed by a holiday from hell after Fifita was locked up in a Bali jail for three days.
Fifita was freed after Broncos welfare manager Adam Walsh flew to Bali and helped negotiate a $30,000 "peace agreement".
Broncos CEO Paul White was waiting alongside Fifita's mother Gwen at Brisbane Airport when the shaken player arrived home.
Asked if he owed the Broncos for their efforts in getting him home from Bali, Fifita said: "They had to do what they've got to do - that's their job, to look after their players.
"The wellbeing officer, Adam Walsh, did a really good job with me over there.
"They have been supportive because I'm with the Broncos and that's their job - to be supportive of a player of theirs. I feel that support.
"I've got to play good footy. That's how I can repay them."
Fifita, who turns 20 on Tuesday, shares a close bond with his mother and has previously claimed she will decide where he plays his football beyond this year.
Gwen said the Broncos had played a huge role in helping develop Fifita into one of the NRL's most devastating forwards.
"I absolutely think he will stay at the Broncos, he enjoys everything about the club and what it stands for, the culture, the staff and the support he gets from there," she said.
"At the end of the day, you always discuss options and look at what is best for him.
"Dave has said 'mum what do you think? Whatever you say I will consider that'. He will look to me for direction but ultimately it's his decision.
"We're not in a rush, he is just enjoying his football, enjoying his training and getting his body right. It's a huge year for him, so for now he wants to have a good pre-season and then we will sort things out later in the year.
"The Broncos have been very good. They have been communicating with us all the time and they aren't putting pressure on Dave."
The Warriors were prepared to offer Fifita $1 million-a-season to lure him across the ditch, but Gwen said he had no intentions of living outside Queensland.
"The Broncos are close to home," she said.
"At the end of the day, Brisbane and Queensland is his home, it's perfect for him. He still lives at home. It's cheaper for Dave to live at home and he has stability here.
"People forget how young Dave is. He's only 19.
"I can't begin to imagine Dave living in New Zealand, he wouldn't live overseas for starters, it's not in his character to live overseas.
"The stress of Sydney would be overwhelming for Dave. The cost of living and the traffic is crazy in Sydney. Just everything about the place ... it's not what Dave is used to."