How David Fifita's next NRL move could have a devastating ripple effect at the Titans

Fifita has established himself as a genuine NRL superstar on the Gold Coast.

If David Fifita's proposed move to Penrith becomes a reality, the negative reverberations at the Gold Coast Titans could last for years. What sort of message will it send if the NRL club's marquee player packs his bag and says, "I'm out of here" and moves interstate for less money? Penrith is a long way from the Gold Coast, not only in terms of distance but also lifestyle.

Even brash and bold Bondi, where Fifita could end up if he brushes the Panthers and opts for the Roosters, is no Glitter Strip. It will be a life-changing move in more ways than one. The Queensland Origin star has until the start of round 10 on Thursday to inform Gold Coast whether he intends taking up an option for a further two years.

Any move away from the Gold Coast for David Fifita will be devastating for coach  Des Hasler and the Titans. Pic: Getty
Any move away from the Gold Coast for David Fifita will be devastating for coach Des Hasler and the Titans. Pic: Getty

The fact he snuck into Sydney on Sunday to talk with Penrith and an offer was tabled within 24 hours should tell you where his head is at. The Titans didn't even know about the trip. They only thing they know is they face a massive battle to retain the 24-year-old.


For Fifita to up stumps and turn his back on the Titans' planned revival under Des Hasler would be a colossal back-hander for a franchise that needs face cards at every turn. The strike forward would basically be saying "I don’t believe in what you're building here and don’t think I can win a premiership with you". Both the reality and perception make for awful viewing.

Any hope the Titans had of dragging themselves away from the competition cellar in coming years – let alone competing for a finals berth – diminish without Fifita's menacing presence. And the chances of securing a marquee signing with the money freed up should he depart automatically vanishes.

Players talk and they don't see a winning future at the Titans. The club has made the finals once in the past seven seasons and sit second last nine rounds into this campaign. They have a dig in most games but lack the class to regularly compete with the top half of the competition. And that's pretty much been the story of their existence.

This image shows Titans superstar David Fifita in the NRL.
Three NRL clubs are reportedly locked in a battle to prise Titans superstar David Fifita away from the Gold Coast. Pic: Getty

The Gold Coast might be a nice place to live and Hasler a good coach to play under, but the NRL jewellers won't be asking for your ring size anytime soon. As grand final-winning Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith put it: "You've got to weigh up what’s more important to you. Is it your financial situation or do you genuinely want to win a premiership? Fifita's next move will tell us.