NRL star Andrew Fafita plans code switch
ESPN Staff
March 29, 2014
Wests Tigers front-rower Andrew Fafita is tackled, Wests Tigers v New Zealand Warriors, National Rugby League, Leichhardt Oval, March 19, 2011
Andrew Fafita opted for the Tigers over the Brumbies © Getty Images

Rugby League star Andrew Fifita has revealed his desire to switch codes, weeks after signing a four-year deal reportedly worth more than $3.5 million to join Canterbury Bulldogs from Cronulla Sharks next season, making him the highest-paid prop in rugby league history.

As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, Fifita, 24, held discussions with Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie late last year and says he is determined to return to the game he grew up playing. Fifita also admitted that he wished he picked rugby union over league this month, such has been the criticism he has received for leaving the Sharks.

"If I could go back now, I wish I chose rugby and then I wouldn't be getting all the shit I've been catching now," Fifita told AAP ahead of his return against Newcastle on Sunday from a two-match suspension for a shoulder charge.

"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."

Fifita represented NSW Country in junior rugby union and earned a place in the Brumbies development squad before opting to join Wests Tigers. Fifita credits fatherhood for inspiring his stunning rise to State of Origin and Test level in 2013.

"I always knew I could potentially go far in football but I never really committed to it, or didn't want to show it until I had a child," he said. "That really gave me an eye opener that life's too short. I realised that to give my son the best in life and my wife the best in life I had to succeed in football. Last year, as soon as I had him, it was the life changer of my world.

"My eyes lit up and as soon as I saw that training paddock, I was a hundred miles an hour. I had to get out there and flog myself and do those extras off the paddock. That's where it got me last year. I can't say the Sharks made me the player I am. I changed my life to be that player."

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