Andrew Fifita

Fifita reveals support for Lodge rehab

Lodge, who has not played a Telstra Premiership match since 2015, will make his comeback in Thursday night’s season opener against St George Illawarra Dragons after being encouraged by Fifita to check in to a rehabilitation clinic.

In the past two years, he has attended a series of rehabilitation programs and been regularly tested for alcohol and drugs, but debate has raged leading into the game at Kogarah about whether he should be allowed back in the NRL.

Fifita still undecided over representative honours

However, Fifita will have to make a call at some stage given that Tonga play Samoa in a one-off test the same weekend as the second Origin match.

Fifita, who represented Tonga at last year's World Cup, has said he would wait until as late as the week before the first Origin clash before making a decision.

But Cordner said he wouldn't try to sway the front-rower either way, and insisted he would have no questions over Fifita's commitment to the Blues even if he left it to the last minute.

The one reason Andrew Fifita will turn his back on Tonga

The Cronulla prop has hinted he will choose NSW over Tonga if he has to make that choice midyear.

The second State of Origin game falls the day after Mate Ma’a Tonga will play Samoa in one of the Pacific Tests at Campbelltown Stadium.

And as much as Fifita loves representing the international minnow he led to a World Cup semi final, he can’t pass up the chance to win his maiden Origin series.

Of course, it will come down to new Blues coach Brad Fittler and whether he selects the incumbent front rower in his squad.

Fifita, Woolf divided on late call

After the ball came loose and Fifita regathered to score what would have been the winning try on the final play of the game, referee Matt Cecchin ruled the NSW enforcer had knocked on rather than had the ball stripped by Elliott Whitehead in the lead up.

Further evidence suggests the call was correct, and post-match Fifita was quick to move past the issue, linking it to his stunning try in the 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final where, on that occasion, luck favoured him.

"Look, that's football," Fifita said.

Fifita may stay with Tonga

Former Australia prop Fifita, denied what he thought was a fair try in the final seconds of an historic semi-final against England, said the team had "rocked the world" over the past five weeks.

"I'm here now - I think we all [are]," Fifita told reporters after the 20-18 loss before 30,003 fans at Mt Smart Stadium.

"Wearing a red jersey, we can't wait until the Pacific series next year. It took a few of us to rock the world. When I say rock the world, I mean we did."

Fifita still has Kangaroos future: Meninga

The damaging Sharks prop was named by Meninga in his 24-man squad on Tuesday before calling his coach on Thursday morning to announce he would be representing Tonga, for whom he played once back in 2010.

Nervous baby wait for Fifita

The Australian international was hoping for an Origin II victory to ease the pressure at the end of the series but the Maroons' win in Game Two has ensured there's still plenty of stress on the 28-year-old heading into the clash. 

While Fifita has been guarded from the media in preparation for the all-important decider, spoke to the Sharks prop about the situation off the paddock prior to Origin II. 

"When the doctor is saying Nik is 39 weeks it's a bit worrying but we've been prepared for it and knew it would be close," Fifita told 

Teen tasked with getting Maroons Fifita-ready

When the Blues posted a record winning score against the Maroons in Game One it was Fifita who was crowned Man of the Match after a dominant performance that drew comparisons with Queensland's favourite front-rower Arthur Beetson, but the Maroons were much better prepared for Game Two.

In the lead-up to the clash in Sydney the likes of Coen Hess and Dylan Napa took turns emulating the bulk and running style of Fifita during training sessions but for Sunday's final opposed session the role of Fifita was played by 17-year-old Broncos under-20s prop Payne Haas.

Fifita's Origin regret: I wish I'd got more ball

Fifita knew he'd be a marked man heading into the high-pressure Sydney clash and while he feels the extra attention on him opened some opportunities for teammates, he still wishes he'd had more opportunities with the ball.

"I wish I got more ball, that was the only thing," Fifita said immediately after last Wednesday's loss.

"I feel I never got much ball in that game. In saying that I think my team and everyone knew I was a marked man… I just would have loved to have had some ball and do my job for my team."

Fifita to 'memory bank' Maroons baiting

Fifita, whose Game Two was noticeably quieter than his Game One pyrotechnics, also said he has no issue with the Maroons putting extra effort into keeping him quiet.

Their tactic of swamping him opened up chances for his fellow forwards and earned the Blues a couple of penalties – the only problem was how his team failed to manage the game in the second half, he said.

"Yeah I did feel it (them putting extra attention on me) to be honest," Fifita said after the game.