Broncos star Fifita makes call on his future

Queensland Origin star David Fifita is set to stay loyal to Brisbane and shun a massive offer from this week's opponents Parramatta in a Broncos coup ahead of tomorrow night's clash with the Eels.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the Fifita camp has instructed the Broncos to work on a contract extension that will secure the back-row wrecking ball beyond 2020 and stave-off poaching raids from 10 NRL rivals.

The Eels and Warriors have been heavily linked with Fifita, with Parramatta reported to be putting together a four-year, $4 million mega deal to lure Brisbane's hottest back-row prospect in 20 years to Sydney.

But Fifita has told Broncos hierarchy he has no interest in living in New Zealand or leaving Queensland and will agree to an extension if the Broncos table a competitive deal.

 

David Fifita (centre) during a Broncos training session. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
David Fifita (centre) during a Broncos training session. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

 

The Broncos don't lose players they want to keep - Matt Lodge, Tevita Pangai Jr and Jake Turpin took less to stay last month - and now Brisbane will ramp-up the Fifita retention mission.

Brisbane bosses will kick-off formal talks after the Eels clash, with the club setting aside at least $700,000 in their salary cap for 2021 in the first step towards making Fifita a Bronco for life.

The 19-year-old is off-contract at the end of next season, meaning rival clubs can table formal offers from November 1 this year.

 

David Fifita in action for Kruger Primary in 2012.
David Fifita in action for Kruger Primary in 2012.

 

A staggering 10 NRL clubs have lodged expressions of interest in Fifita, with some suitors indicating they are prepared to pay almost $1 million annually for the brutal hard-running that catapulted him into the Origin arena this season as a teenager.

But the battle for Fifita's signature has taken a compelling twist.

The Broncos have met with Fifita's mother Gwen, who played a key role in brokering his current NRL contract. Fifita still lives at home and Gwen has informed the Broncos her son has no intention to leave with the parties to commence extension talks from next week.

While Fifita could earn more elsewhere, the cheaper cost of living in Brisbane is a factor, as is the Broncos' network of third-party sponsorships and corporate opportunities for a Queensland Origin young gun.

 

David Fifita made his Origin debut this year. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
David Fifita made his Origin debut this year. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

 

Fifita's manager Steve Deacon said it would take an extraordinary offer to prise the 108kg forward sensation from Red Hill.

"I've told clubs if you are going to have a crack at Dave, you will have to have a big crack," he said.

"They will have to pay a fair bit more to lure Dave away from Brisbane. Clubs will have to go a lot harder. There's no use being around the same figure as the Broncos.

"The Broncos are a good club and Dave is a very level-headed kid. He still lives at home with his family and his family were a big part of the deal last time.

"It's my job to create and present opportunities for him and at the end of the day it will be Dave's decision what he wants to do."

Broncos teammate Alex Glenn said he would be stunned if Fifita quit the club.

"I've never seen a young back-rower like him," he said. "He and Payne (Haas) are on another level.

"He is going to get huge dollars out there and the club will do as much as they can. I wish them well to keep him."

 

 

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