David Fifita's massive pay cut after re-signing with Gold Coast Titans
The NRL star's new contract is worth considerably less than his previous deal.
Destructive Gold Coast edge forward David Fifita has taken a considerable pay-cut after downing down offers from rival NRL clubs to re-sign with the Titans until the end of the 2026 season. It's understood the 23-year-old representative forward had been pursued by multiple clubs, including the Canberra Raiders and Brisbane Broncos, but chose to commit to the Gold Coast for a further three years.
The Courier Mail reports that the new deal is worth around $800,000 per season or $2.4 million all up - a $600,000 shortfall on his previous contract. It represents a significant downgrade on the previous deal with the Titans that made him the highest-paid forward in the competition.
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Fifita was the record signing for the Titans after being poached from the Broncos in 2020, on a massive three-year deal worth around $3.2 million. The eye-watering figures raised eyebrows raised at the time and the hulking forward's inconsistent form failed to justify his lofty price tag.
Regardless, the 110kg star is still regarded as one of the most dangerous edge forwards in the NRL and certainly one of the hardest for opposition defences to contain when he's on form. Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook hailed Fifita's retention as a big win for the club and a sign that they are headed in the right direction.
"To have David commit to the Titans shows he believes in what we are building and it gives us great confidence as a club," Holbrook said in a statement. "As a coach I've seen David's commitment first hand and...we saw that in our first round (22-10) win over the Tigers."
David Fifita thrilled to stay on the Gold Coast
Fifita - who starred for Tonga at last year's Rugby League Cup - wrote on Instagram: "Super excited to announce that I'm going to be a Titan for another couple of years. Thankful for the club for backing me and giving me the opportunity to stay and do what I love here at the Gold Coast Titans."
David Fifita has extended his contract with @GCTitans until the end of 2026! ⚔
Signings Tracker: https://t.co/ODbdqYK5EL pic.twitter.com/8DtUwpTz8d
— NRL (@NRL) March 6, 2023
Huge news out of the @GCTitans this evening. David Fifita will remain on the #GoldCoast until the end of ‘26. Massive to have it sorted before it became a major distraction, even more exciting coming off a MOTM performance in R1. @9NewsGoldCoast @9NewsQueensland @wwos @NRLonNine
— Matthew Tsimpikas (@MattTsimpikas) March 6, 2023
Congrats David Fifita on extending with the @GCTitans until the end of 2026. @NRL @NRLFantasy pic.twitter.com/7q5q7hb6ER
— ALL OUT NRL FANTASY (@ALLOUTNRLFANTSY) March 6, 2023
THREE MORE YEARS
Massive coup for @GCTitans with David Fifita re-signing until end of 2026. The former @brisbanebroncos forward joins key young stars at club long-term in a massive boost for coach Justin Holbrook, via @AAPSport https://t.co/IjJTt2MSUd
— Joel Gould (@JoelGould6) March 6, 2023
The 23-year-old revealed last month that he was committed to the Titans and proved true to his word. The pre-season form of the five-game Queensland Origin forward was top shelf and Fifita backed that up in the win over the Wests Tigers with a man-of-the-match display in round one on Sunday.
Fifita went to school on the Gold Coast and suggested his relationship with Titans half and former schoolmate Tanah Boyd could be a factor in his decision. "We have got a good connection," he said.
"He's one of my best mates. Having him there is really good. We are Keebra Park boys and came through a good system there."
Fifita's commitment to the Titans is a boost to Holbrook and an endorsement of the work he has done to recruit players around his match-winning forward. "We've put it on Dave to work hard and since he's come back from the World Cup he has done that," Holbrook told AAP last month.
"It is up to us as coaches, the halves and Dave himself to all work together to get the best out of him. What we have done in recruiting experienced hooker Sam Verrills and an experienced half in Kieran Foran is going to help his game as well. We feel we have done everything right here for him to play at his best."
Fifita joins skipper Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, fellow back-rower Beau Fermor and fullback AJ Brimson on contract until the end of 2026 to give the Titans a base to build a strong team around.
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