Andrew Fifita wants to play for Tonga.
Andrew Fifita also wants to play for New South Wales.
But, as things stand, he won’t be doing both.
The gun Sharks forward has already confirmed he will follow his Rugby League World Cup exploits and play for Tonga in the Pacific Test against Samoa on June 23.
That’s a decision that would usually rule a player out of State of Origin but the door remains open for him to appear in the first and third games.
“At the start of the season I was very adamant that if he wanted to play for Tonga in Game II, I understand his priorities, but it didn’t sit well with me,” new Blues coach Brad Fittler told Triple M this weekend.
“As I’m looking at our team and you start to get injuries, without doubt you start to think – you start to panic and think we might need this and we might need that. I think I need another week.
“I still feel pretty strongly about the decision he made, but I’m going to give it another week.”
Those comments have been followed by a remarkable show of commitment from Fifita after he starred in Cronulla’s win over the Bulldogs on Sunday.
The 28-year-old ran for 169 metres, made four tackle breaks and landed 37 tackles in 65 minutes of play – and then said his passion for NSW shone through.
“There’s nothing more in the world that I want than winning a State of Origin series,” he told Triple M before coming out with a surprise $60,000 offer.
“I’ve never won one before. I’d love to win one. I wouldn’t let the team down. My heart is through and through a Blue. But in saying that, if they can make it happen I’m not going to go out there and just… I’d play for free.
“I’ll donate my money to charity, I don’t really mind. As long as we get the series win and I get that under my belt. To have a series win under my belt – I’ve done pretty much everything in the game.”
Fifita really has done pretty much everything else.
Part of the reason why he’s so keen to play for Tonga is because he already won the World Cup with the Kangaroos in 2013.
“For international (rugby league), I’ll be with Tonga no matter what,” he said.
“It’s about growing the game. I guess you look at the World Cup last year, I know Australia won it and it’s full credit to them, I guess (we were) the fan favourite.
“We had the crowd pumping us not only in the stadium but around the world. We’re talking about growing the game, I thought we were pretty successful doing it.”