FANS’ FAVOURITE David Fifita has revealed how team-mates ganged up to keep him at Wakefield Trinity.
The 27-year-old Tongan international joined Wakefield from Cronulla Sharks in 2016 and signed a new two-year contract last week.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s visit of Huddersfield Giants, Fifita revealed peer pressure played a part in his decision to stay.
“You can thank Danny Kirmond and Jacob Miller for that, putting me in a corner and harassing me,” Fifita joked.
“As soon as Jacob signed he pretty much said I should do the same. We’ve talked about it all year, we wanted to stay together – it has been great.
“They’ve been going on at me, putting me in a corner, trying to shake me up – I know I am a big bloke, but when there’s two of them ... In the end it is a business for us. I did have good offers from other teams and I was really close to signing for another Super League club, but Wakefield came back and had a chat with me.
“I told them I wanted to stay, that’s why I was holding the other team off as long as I could. I am happy at Wakefield and they came back and we got it done.”
Fifita said his family and Trinity’s supporters also played a key role in keeping him at the club. His twin brother Andrew, one of the top forwards in Australia with Cronulla, had been keen for him to return home, but David said: “If I’m happy, he’s happy.
“My family are loving it over here and I love all the fans and the atmosphere at footy.
“You don’t get the same in the NRL, they might get 20-30,000 at a game, but you might only get 8,000 here and they are screaming louder than 80,000 back home.
“It has been really awesome and if my family are happy, I am happy.
“They’ve taken it all in, my boy’s in school – the schools are great over here – and everyone’s made me feel welcome.
“The lifestyle’s good, very relaxed – it is great.”
Things are going just as well on the field. The win over Widnes Vikings last week lifted Trinity to fifth in Betfred Super League and Fifita said: “It has been awesome – it comes back to [coach] Chris Chester signing some good blokes.
“We were a bit weak last year in the middle, we weren’t the biggest in the forwards, but we’ve signed blokes like Keegan Hirst, who’s been outstanding and Craig Huby.
“He has been awesome since day one. We are getting a roll on and teams are under-estimating us. We are staying under the radar and keeping working on way up.
“If people start talking about us it might get in some of the boys’ heads, but we are happy going under the radar.”
Chester will select for tonight from the 17 who beat Salford six days ago, plus Sam Williams and Ashley Gibson. Giants, still without the suspended Danny Brough, could be unchanged from their Magic Weekend win over Catalans Dragons, with Nathan Mason and Sam Wood also in contention.
Wakefield Trinity: from Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Batchelor, Caton-Brown, England, Fifita, Finn, Gibson, Grix, Hirst, Huby, Jones-Bishop, Kirmond, Lyne, Miller, Tupou, Williams, K Wood.
Huddersfield Giants: from Mamo, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Gaskell, Murphy, Rapira, Hinchcliffe, Wakeman, Ferguson, Leeming, Ikahihifo, Roberts, Clough, Mason, S Wood, McIntosh, Mellor, O’Brien, Ridyard.
Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.