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Jack Wighton lashes ugly Brad Fittler claims after backflip on State of Origin

The Souths recruit has rubbished claims his relationship with Brad Fittler is why he retired from rep footy.

Jack Wighton pictured right and Brad Fittler pictured left
Jack Wighton has rubbished claims his relationship with Brad Fittler is why he retired from rep footy. Image: Getty

Jack Wighton has rubbished the notion that his relationship with former Blues coach Brad Fittler was the reason he retired from representative footy. Wighton decided to take himself out of contention for State of Origin selection prior to last year’s series but labelled the claims that it was because of Fittler as a "load of s**t".

The decision from the new Souths signing surprised NRL fans, as he revealed at the time that he wanted to focus more on his family and club footy. However, heading into the 2024 season, there have been rumblings the former Blues centre may be considering a backflip and return to the rep arena.

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But Wighton said his potential interest in returning to the Blues has nothing to do with Fittler. "Because I say nothing, everyone is allowed to write their own stories. There’s not one bit of truth (to it). I’ve got all the love in the world for Freddy. He saved my rep career,” Wighton told The Daily Telegraph.

"He gave me my first jersey (in 2019), he backed me for 10 games. That’s just a load of shit. It had nothing to do with it. I had a big last year, there was a lot going on. After the World Cup, it was one of the best experiences of my life, I was content. That was my personal choice. That’s why I done what I done. It was nothing to do with Freddy at all."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 08:  Jack Wighton of the Blues celebrates scoring a try during game one of the 2022 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on June 08, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Jack Wighton decided to take himself out of contention for Blues selection prior to last year’s series but labelled the claims that the decision was because of his relationship with Brad Fittler a "load of s**t". (Mark Kolbe via Getty Images)

Amid speculation he could be considering a representative backflip, the 30-year-old admitted he is willing to leave the door open in 2024 for a potential Blues return. "I'll get my foot in the door with South and put my best foot forward there," Wighton told Nine News earlier this month.

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While Wighton wasn't named in Michael Maguire's 36-player Blues camp, the NSW coach says he is in contention for a position if he wants one. Maguire was full of praise for the 30-year-old labelling him "a big game player" and suggested the decision could ultimately come down to if the Rabbitohs star wants to return to the Origin arena.

"I enjoyed working in Canberra over the last 12 months with Ricky Stuart and the playing group including Jack,” Maguire said on SEN radio. "Jack wants to settle himself in Sydney and with his new club (the Rabbitohs)," he added about why Wighton was not part of the Blues camp.

"He's still retired but I told him to get himself playing and see how he’s travelling. We’ll have a discussion as the season transpires. We all know he’s a big game player whenever he’s in that arena. In time, I’m sure Jack will decide whether he’s ready to go again."

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