Fifita hoses down rugby switch rumours

Rugby league

CRONULLA star Andrew Fifita has firmly denied reports he is entertaining a shock switch to rugby union.

The NSW and Australian representative - who is back in Griffith this week - told The Area News he has no intention of changing codes.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Thursday that Fifita, whose contract with the Sharks expires at the end of 2014, met with Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie last weekend to discuss a possible return to the 15-man game.

"I don't know what these rumours are. I had no meeting," Fifita said.

"I don't know anything about it.

"My manager just rang me and said there was a big article coming on you and said look out."

Asked if he was interested in playing rugby union in 2015, he said: "Not really. There's no real truth to it."

Regarded as one of the best props in the world after a stunning breakout season with Cronulla, Fifita lived in Griffith as a teenager and used to play rugby union with the Griffith Blacks in the Southern Inland Rugby Union competition.

At one stage he was a part of the ACT Brumbies' junior development squad.

He often used to play for the Blacks on a Saturday afternoon, then back up for the Griffith Waratahs in Group 20 rugby league the next day.

The news comes at a dreadful time for the Sharks, who are still reeling from the sanctions proposed by the NRL over the club's 2011 drugs investigation.

However, Cronulla is strongly considering fighting the $1 million fine and 12-month suspension to coach Shane Flanagan.

Fifita - who was not at the Sharks at the time of the alleged doping - said he has purposely tried to keep away from the controversy.

"I'm not too sure what's going on at the moment," he said.

"They haven't really let me in. I've tried to keep my distance.

"Other than that I'm fully supportive of Flanno and my teammates - which is what we've been doing for the last year or so.

"That's all I can comment on, I don't really know too much about it."

Meanwhile, Fifita and his twin brother David handed their old school, Griffith High, an early Christmas present on Wednesday.

He donated a signed jumper from the Kangaroos' World Cup-winning campaign, which will hang proudly in the school's foyer.

"Griff High brings back a lot of memories," he said.

"It's an honour to be able to come back and put my photo on the wall and to have my school recognise my accomplishments.

"The feeling, I can't explain it - we're world champions. Playing for your country is one of the best feelings in the world.

"It took a while and it was very tiring but we had a job to do and we got it done.

"I'm stoked, I still can't believe it, and to come back to your family and that after doing it makes it even better.

"It feels good to be back."

Fifita said he was planning on heading back to Sydney for Christmas and is due back at Cronulla training in mid-January.

"I think the boys are having a Christmas party so I'll head back to meet the new players and that," he said.

"The boys know we've got a tough pre-season ahead so the only thing I'm out for is to get fit and ready to go in a few weeks."

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