New recruit David Fifita at Gold Coast Titans training. Picture: Nigel Hallett
New recruit David Fifita at Gold Coast Titans training. Picture: Nigel Hallett

How Fifita cleared his name after bizarre arrest

A fit and firing David Fifita will not be sanctioned by the Gold Coast Titans following his encounter with police as the bizarre details of his trespassing saga emerged.

Fifita looked a million dollars in his first training session of the year as the Titans sweated it out in soaring Gold Coast summer heat on Tuesday morning.

There were no stragglers in the traditional post-Christmas sweat-fest, with the Titans proving they are on track to be an NRL finals contender in 2021 after finishing ninth last year.

The first fitness session of the year usually reveals who enjoyed too much Christmas ham over the two-week break.

Fifita was in poor condition in the corresponding session at the Brisbane Broncos last year as he struggled well behind his teammates.

 

David Fifita goes through the paces ar Titans training. Picture: Nigel Hallett
David Fifita goes through the paces ar Titans training. Picture: Nigel Hallett

 

But that wasn't the case with the Titans as coach Justin Holbrook looks to take the Gold Coast back to the NRL finals for the first time since 2016.

It was $3.5 million recruit Fifita's first session since he was arrested and questioned by police following an alleged trespassing incident on the Gold Coast during the break.

Fifita, 20, was invited to a Clear Island Waters house by a woman, but upon entering was confronted by her father who questioned why he was at the property and called police.

After presenting evidence he had been invited to the address, Fifita was later cleared of any wrongdoing and issued a caution by police.

While the NRL Integrity Unit is investigating the incident, he is unlikely to be sanctioned by the governing body or the Titans and will play in Round 1 of the season.

Holbrook said he had spoken to Fifita about the incident and was impressed by his star recruit's fitness following post-season knee surgery last year.

 

David Fifita speaks to teammates at training. Picture: Nigel Hallett
David Fifita speaks to teammates at training. Picture: Nigel Hallett

 

"Yeah, I did (speak to him). It's not good but it's been resolved now," he said.

"We've got to move on now. He's training well and has done a great job with his rehab.

"It's always hard when you're a player in rehab but he's done a great job and integrated into the full squad."

The Titans were impressive in a solid 90-minute skills and conditioning session, with only halfback Ash Taylor (hips) and fullback AJ Brimson (foot) not participating in everything.

Holbrook said the star duo were on track to play in Round 1 and the Titans would ramp up their ball skills in the coming weeks.

While the Titans still have one spot to fill on their roster, there is no suggestion that could be Melbourne Storm legend Cameron Smith.

More than two months after the Storm's NRL premiership win, Smith is still yet to reveal whether he will play on in 2021 or retire.

Smith and his family are living on the Gold Coast, raising speculation he could take up a playing or coaching role with the Titans.

However Holbrook maintained he had not held any discussions with the most-capped player in NRL history.

"As of now, no, I don't think anyone (at the club) has spoken to him," Holbrook said.

"I haven't got a further update on Cam Smith. We haven't planned on having him here.

"Everyone talks about the convenience of it, the fact he's living here and the kids are going to school here. I understand the heavy speculation around it but that's all it is.

"I can't tell you anything. I've never spoken to him.

"I'm happy with who we've got, but if things change and all of a sudden he's desperate to play and we can fit him in then we'll have a conversation.

"At the moment, the fact I haven't spoken to him shows I'm okay with who we've got. If it changes it changes, but I've got no plan on it changing."

Storm recruit Tino Fa'asuamaleaui did not take part in Tuesday's session given he isn't required to return from leave until next week.

Originally published as How Fifita cleared his name after bizarre arrest


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