Andrew Fifita

Andrew Fifita cops 3-match suspension, misses Mt Smart test

Fifita appeared in front of the NRL judiciary, via video link, on Tuesday night in an attempt to have a dangerous contact charge downgraded but was unsuccessful. 

If the giant prop could have got the charge downgraded from a grade two to a grade one he would have escaped a ban and been free to take on the Kiwis at Mount Smart Stadium. 

He had earlier plead guilty to the charge and only contested the grading.

His dangerous contact charge resulted from a crusher tackle on Canberra's Ryan Sutton during the Cronulla Sharks 22-20 victory on Thursday night.

Andrew Fifita hints at another Tongan defection ahead of Kiwis test

Cronulla prop Fifita suggested his cousin was considering committing to the Mate Ma'a for next month's test against New Zealand in what would be a massive blow for Queensland's depth.

David Fifita was thought to be a leading contender to grab a Queensland bench spot for Origin I in a fortnight.

But Andrew Fifita said he was one of a host of young players with dual eligibility who wanted to commit to the fast-emerging Pacific nation.

"I feel like change is coming, especially for the international game," Andrew Fifita said.

Fifita and Prior should be right for Manly

The Sharks lost Fifita barely seven minutes into their Magic Round win over the Titans and Prior not long after.

But veteran skipper Paul Gallen lifted in the pair's absence along with big contributions from bench forwards Brayden Hamlin-Uele, Jack Williams and Jayson Bukuya to overturn an 18-10 halftime deficit to run home 26-18 winners over an ill-disciplined Gold Coast at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.

Fifita offers to play Origin for free

The NRL's Dally M leader made the stunning pledge after leading Cronulla to their fifth straight win on Sunday, a 22-16 home triumph over Canterbury that vaulted the Sharks into fifth spot.

"If they can make it happen, I'm not just going to go out there - I'd play for free. I'll donate my money to charity. I don't really mind," Fifita told Triple M radio.

Fittler earlier said he wouldn't rule out selecting Fifita for game one of the series in Melbourne on June 6 despite the tearaway front-rower being unavailable for Origin II on June 24.

Sharks injuries update: Andrew Fifita cleared of ACL injury

But the Australia-Tonga forward will miss anywhere from a week to a month as he has severe swelling on the knee and some bone bruising.

In other news to lighten coach Shane Flanagan's mood, his other starting prop Matt Prior has escaped suspension and can play against Penrith next Sunday at Southern Cross Group Stadium.

The match review committee issued a grade one charge and $1500 fine, which reduces to $1350 if he pleads guilty early. Prior would then be free to play the Panthers.

"That's massive news for us," Flanagan told NRL.com.

Tonga secure big guns as Fifita makes rep switch

In a huge boost for international rugby league and Tonga's rapid development as a challenger to the game's traditional heavyweights, Fifita has revealed a pact instigated by Taumalolo after last year's surprise World Cup finals charge convinced him to rule himself out of Australian and NSW Blues contention.

Fifita said he and Taumalolo had reaffirmed their commitment to the Mata Ma'u during a meeting with Tonga coach Kristian Woolf in North Queensland before last month's round-one clash between the Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys.

Fifita reveals support for Lodge rehab

Lodge, who has not played a Telstra Premiership match since 2015, will make his comeback in Thursday night’s season opener against St George Illawarra Dragons after being encouraged by Fifita to check in to a rehabilitation clinic.

In the past two years, he has attended a series of rehabilitation programs and been regularly tested for alcohol and drugs, but debate has raged leading into the game at Kogarah about whether he should be allowed back in the NRL.

The one reason Andrew Fifita will turn his back on Tonga

The Cronulla prop has hinted he will choose NSW over Tonga if he has to make that choice midyear.

The second State of Origin game falls the day after Mate Ma’a Tonga will play Samoa in one of the Pacific Tests at Campbelltown Stadium.

And as much as Fifita loves representing the international minnow he led to a World Cup semi final, he can’t pass up the chance to win his maiden Origin series.

Of course, it will come down to new Blues coach Brad Fittler and whether he selects the incumbent front rower in his squad.

Fifita, Woolf divided on late call

After the ball came loose and Fifita regathered to score what would have been the winning try on the final play of the game, referee Matt Cecchin ruled the NSW enforcer had knocked on rather than had the ball stripped by Elliott Whitehead in the lead up.

Further evidence suggests the call was correct, and post-match Fifita was quick to move past the issue, linking it to his stunning try in the 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final where, on that occasion, luck favoured him.

"Look, that's football," Fifita said.

Fifita still has Kangaroos future: Meninga

The damaging Sharks prop was named by Meninga in his 24-man squad on Tuesday before calling his coach on Thursday morning to announce he would be representing Tonga, for whom he played once back in 2010.