Foran credited for David Fifita's Maroons resurrection

·2-min read

Queensland has Kieran Foran to thank for flicking David Fifita's State of Origin switch.

The 23-year-old will play second-row in the Origin series opener in Adelaide next Wednesday night, his first Maroons appearance since 2021.

He made history as the first player born in the 2000s to play Origin when he debuted as a 19-year-old in 2019.

But Fifita has battled to deliver on the hype since, only now flourishing thanks to the arrival of veteran New Zealand playmaker Foran on the Gold Coast.

He is averaging 170m per game for the Titans, a career high, while making the tough carries and doing the one-percenters that have impressed coach Billy Slater.

"His performances this year have been as good as I have seen him play," Slater, who selected him ahead of the experienced Kurt Capewell, said.

"Dave is starting to realise that the game is a complete package.

"His work off the footy is getting better and he is a whole heap more involved than he was the last few years, which has been great. He has earned his spot."

Five-eighth Foran has been driving Fifita on, setting him up for tries and mentoring him about the finer points of footy.

"Kieran has been massive for me and I have to give him credit for where I am now," Fifita, who will have Melbourne magician Cameron Munster playing inside him in Adelaide, told AAP.

"Playing outside him in attack and inside him in defence, he is always talking to me and helping me get better.

"He has been there and done that for many years. I look up to him with the way he handles the things he is going through with his body. He is a competitor, a hard worker and wants to win."

Club captain and Maroons teammate Tino Fa'asuamaleaui said the difference had been obvious this season, but he'd never doubted Fifita's Origin pedigree.

"When he debuted at 19 he was ready; he's always been an Origin player in my eyes, it was just about unlocking it," the forward told AAP.

"He's determined, got his off-field stuff right, focused on what he wants, set his mind to it and it's so good to see.

"Defence is the big one that's stood out. Making little efforts and we're noticing that and the Queensland selectors have too."