Titans skipper Tino backs Fifita for Origin recall
Gold Coast captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui has endorsed the in-form David Fifita for a State of Origin recall, and says he looks up to his barnstorming Titans teammate.
Fifita last played for Queensland in the second game of 2021. His lukewarm form forced him out last year, with coach Billy Slater instead favouring veterans Kurt Capewell and Felise Kaufusi in the second row and breakout Cowboy Jeremiah Nanai on the bench.
But the 23-year-old's case for an Origin recall is fast becoming irresistible. He has made more offloads and is averaging more run metres than any other second-rower through 11 rounds.
In the Titans' 46-26 loss to Newcastle on Sunday, Fifita notched the sixth try-scoring double of his career, first bursting past fellow Origin hopeful Tyson Frizell at close range, then picking off a Lachie Miller kick to run 95 metres downfield.
He finished with 222 run metres, more than any other player on the park at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Slater, who met with Fifita in the pre-season, has already praised the second-rower's start to 2023 and on Sunday, Maroons middle man Fa'asuamaleaui said he deserved a sixth Origin cap.
"I think so," he said.
"He's been playing very good. I guess it's up to the selectors but I'm proud of where David's come.
"He's the one that's standing up each week. He's taking those tough carries, he's working hard at his D. As a player next to him, he's someone that you want to play with.
"I'm looking up to him at the moment. He's going very good and he's playing some good footy for us as a club."
Titans coach Justin Holbrook lamented that Fa'suamaleaui, Fifita and Gold Coast prop Moeaki Fotuaika had too little help help from their teammates against the Knights, who were hoisted to victory by a rampant Kalyn Ponga.
"(Fifita) was great to watch again tonight. He was terrific for us," he said.
"We still had some good players. Dave, Mo and Tino were up there but we just had too many guys well below their best today."