Andrew Fifita is set to declare his allegiance. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Andrew Fifita is set to declare his allegiance. Picture. Phil Hillyard

Fifita reveals when he’ll declare his allegiance

NSW enforcer Andrew Fifita has placed Blues fans on tenterhooks, declaring he'll reveal this week whether or not he's available for 2018 State of Origin selection.

 

After turning his back on Australia to represent Tonga at last year's World Cup, Fifita appears to be leaning towards remaining loyal to his native country.

 

The Cronulla tearaway said on Tuesday that he'd publicise his decision on the Halfcast Podcast with UFC mates Tyson Pedro and Tai "Bam Bam" Tuivasa.

 

Andrew Fifita in action. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Andrew Fifita in action. Picture. Phil Hillyard

But speaking passionately about Tonga seemed a big hint that the 28-year-old wanted to play in the Pacific Cup Test against Samoa at Campbelltown on June 23 - the eve of Origin II.

 

It's unlikely that Blues coach Brad Fittler will pick Fifita for the series-opener in Melbourne on June 6 if the Sharks star isn't available for game two in Sydney.

 

Fifita said choosing his allegiance wasn't even difficult.

"It's not the biggest decision. I think it's an easy one for myself," he said intriguingly.

 

"It's something we're happy with and I've gone with that decision so I'll just sit back and wait for everybody to tune into our podcast."

 

He said making his 11th-hour decision to represent Tonga last year after being named in Mal Meninga's Kangaroos squad proved a career highlight.

 

Fifita and  North Queensland powerhouse Jason Taumalolo, who also chose Tonga over Australia, helped the tiny Pacific Island nation to the semi-finals.

 

Andrew Fifita in camp with Tonga at the 2017 World Cup. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Andrew Fifita in camp with Tonga at the 2017 World Cup. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

 

"For a team that lost a major final to get into a grand final we deadset had a party in that shed," Fifita said.

 

"There were a few holes in the Warriors' change room, but we apologised.

 

"But I've never been into something like that."

 

Fifita maintains second-tier Pacific Island teams deserve more support and a larger slice of the financial pie generated from international rugby league.

 

"It's a bit unfair that you're playing other teams that are making a lot more money than our team," he said.

 

"We were doing functions to try and get some funding for us through last year's World Cup.

 

"If there was a team last year that pulled in crowds and was making money for the game, it was Tonga."

Andrew Fifita in camp with Tonga at the 2017 World Cup. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Andrew Fifita in camp with Tonga at the 2017 World Cup. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

In another apparent pointer, Fifita said he asked Tonga coach Kristian Woolf earlier this year if his side had any other matches scheduled.

 

"That was a main reason for myself to see what life would be like if I chose Tonga," he said.

 

"(After) how good we've gone, I believe there should be more for the future for Tonga and Samoa and that because, at the end of the day, I wouldn't mind seeing a Tonga-Australia game or Tonga-England.

 

"Even adding a Pacific Island team all mixed in one. We do all the All Stars.

"You want to see the best games, the best atmospheres."



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