David Fifita eyeing NRL starting spot role

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David Fifita eyeing NRL starting spot role

Star Gold Coast forward David Fifita has no desire to continue being the NRL's highest-paid bench player.

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After a couple of injury-disrupted pre-seasons, the 21-year-old has enjoyed a relatively smooth lead-up to his 2022 campaign, which will begin with an Indigenous All Stars appearance.

Having been lured to the Titans from Brisbane on a rich deal last year, Fifita was brilliantly brutal some games but quiet in others, prompting coach Justin Holbrook to move him to the interchange bench.

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Fifita came off the pine in seven of Gold Coast's last eight matches – including an elimination play-off loss to the Sydney Roosters – as he carried a rib injury for the final six weeks.

“I want to start,” Fifita said on Wednesday. “Just got to wait for trials.”

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Weighing 114kg, Fifita feels primed to perform with matches around the corner having recovered from a case of COVID-19.

His rib issue is also healed.

“This is probably my first time being injury-free leading up to a pre-season,” he said.

“I've got a full pre-season in. I came back in a bit overweight but now I'm good, I'm in good nick.

“You go up in weight and muscle but I'm happy where I'm at with my fitness.”

Reflecting on his maiden year as a Titan, Fifita, who had unquestionable impact as the club's leading try-scorer (17 in 22 games), believes it was a beneficial experience.

“It was good for myself from where I started off with (an ankle) injury in the pre-season, slow in the rehab and that,” Fifita said.

“I got to have my first season, I've got to know all the boys and staff now. I'm really comfortable with the place.”

The explosive back-rower will be one of the main All Stars attractions when he runs out alongside Josh Addo-Carr and Nicho Hynes to face the Maoris at CommBank Stadium next weekend.

“I'm always looking forward to the Indigenous game,” Fifita said.

“It's one I always want to be part of and represent. It's different to other games.”

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