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July 14th, 2018 by admin

NRL grand final 2016: Cronulla Sharks prop Andrew Fifita threatened to quit NRL over Kangaroos ineligibility

Magic moment: Andrew Fifita and the Sharks celebrate his match-winner in the grand final. Photo: Getty ImagesGrand final hero Andrew Fifitais believed to be so disillusioned with being deemed ineligible for Kangaroos selection that hehas threatened to quit the NRL, just days after helping the Sharks to a historic premiership.
Nanjing Night Net

Fifitais understood to have considered quittingthe game after an emotional couple of months, which culminated in him being overlooked for Kangaroos selection just two days after scoring the try thatsnapped Cronulla’s 49-year title hoodooon Sunday night.

Fairfax Media understands the controversial Cronulla starhas this week talked with his management about the prospect of walking away fromrugby league in Australiaand not returning to the premiers in 2017, despite having two years left to run on his contract.

It would cap a turbulent 18 months for the 27-year-old, who only last month was condemned for wearing arm strapping on which he had written the initials of his friend and convicted one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge. He was alsobanned for six NRL matches and fined $30,000 last year for abusing a junior rugby league referee.

Cronulla officialssaidon Wednesday night they had notbeen contacted byFifita, or his management, but it is understoodthey are hoping any threatFifita has made to quit the NRLis an empty one and that he is simply expressing his frustration at the end of huge week.

Fifita’smanager Ben Johnston declined to comment when asked specifically whether his client had sought a release from his deal.Fifitadidn’t return calls on Wednesday.

IfFifitawasto leave the Shire, itwould be a huge blow for Shane Flanagan and his side.

Despite being probedabouthis relationship with Loveridge and being issued with a warning by NSW Policefor consorting with criminals,Fifitaplayed a huge role in Cronulla emerging from an end-of-season rut during the finals.

Fifitasaid he had “no regrets” about supporting Loveridge, but the NRL took a much dimmer view ofhis actions, with the league’s integrity unit investigating hisbehaviour. Itis yet to make a determination on whether hewill be sanctioned.

The Sharks will be desperate forFifitato remain with them into 2017, butif they were asked to release him from his contract, it could at leasthelp themlock up a number of premiership starswho are off-contract at the end of the season.

Kangaroos rookie Valentine Holmes, who earned a maiden call-upto the Australiasquad, and State of Origin star Jack Bird are at the top of Cronulla’s retention list,while captain-in-waiting Wade Graham and BenBarbaare also set to hit the market next year.

Flanagan said in the wake of the Sharks’ title success thatFifitaand skipper PaulGallen, who was also overlooked for the Kangaroos, should have been Australian certainties given their recent form.

Parramatta flyer Semi Radradra, who is facing domestic violence charges, was alsodeemed ineligible for selectionfor the Australian side.Radradra, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, played in the Prime Minister’s XIIImatch against the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII in Port Moresby less than a fortnight ago, a match Kangaroos coach Mal Meningahailedas a genuine selection trial.

Parramatta Eels chief executive Bevan Paul said the club was continuing to support Radradra.

“We have been in contact with Semi since the announcement [on Tuesday]and he islooking forward to returning to the club for pre-season training in November,” Paul said.

“The club would like to emphasise that Semi has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges against him and he is entitled to the presumption of innocence.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.