Sensational turnaround after the prop looked bound for Belmore in 2015.
Boom young prop Andrew Fifita has been left without a club for 2015 after the Canterbury Bulldogs elected to call off negotiations suddenly.
The sudden news has left the NRL world as it appeared Fifita would be wearing blue and white for the next four years in a deal worth $3.5 million, making him the most highly paid prop in the history of the competition.
Bulldogs Chief Executive Raelene Castle said: “After signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Andrew we’ve not been able to agree on the final terms of his NRL Playing Contract and have ceased negotiations with his management.
“We wish Andrew all the best for the future” Castle said
Fifita told his teammates during round one of his decision to leave the club, which signed him from the Wests Tigers in 2011.
“Andrew is disappointed that we could not finalise terms with the Bulldogs but we still have several options in the pipeline to explore,” Fifita’s Management Group I.am Athlete Management said.
Since his decision to walk away from the Sharks, Fifita said he had coped abuse about the lack of loyalty he had shown the Sharks, as he became the latest start to chase big money at another club.
As a result, the former rugby union star, said last week in hindsight he wish he had of defected to the 15-man game if a future of abuse was on the cards from fans of the NRL.
“If I could go back now, I wish I chose rugby and then I wouldn’t be getting all the s*** I’ve been catching now,” Fifita said.
“I grew up playing rugby so it was one of the best things.
“It’s always going to be there and I will eventually go to union.
“It’s another dream and I just want to chase another dream.
“I’ve pretty much got everything in rugby league except a premiership and that’s all I really want, and to win an Origin series.”
In light of the developments, the Australian Rugby Union have warned Fifita “not to come for the cash” if he wants to re-open discussions about joining rugby union.
If Fifita stays in league he could be re-signed by the Sharks, with the club saying they are aware of the latest situation but have not made a comment at this time.
Either rate, if the 24-year-old does stay in the NRL, it is unlikely he will be able to attract the figure of $800,000 he was set to receive at the Bulldogs.
South Sydney could become interested in him, as a means of replacing rugby bound Sam Burgess, however, the strong mail is that the Rabbitohs will sign former NSW prop Tim Grant this week.
The fallout will have an impact at the Bulldogs as well, as they look to replace the Ben Ben Barba, who joined Brisbane this season, with a full-time fullback.
Tigers’ James Tedesco, Canberra’s Anthony Milford and for a cheaper option Manly’s Peta Hiku all could be on Canterbury’s radar.