Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen is confident Andrew Fifita won’t walk out on the NRL.
Premiership-winning prop Fifita has been in talks about a switch to a rival code amid fears he will have his contract ripped up after he was banned from selection for Australia’s Four Nations squad.
But Gallen said on Tuesday he believes once Fifita has the chance to take some time away from footy he will rediscover his desire to play in the NRL.
“I have spoken to him a couple of times and he is not too bad at the moment,” Gallen said.
“He is actually thinking really positive the big fella, which is great to see.
“I don’t want to see him go anywhere and I think deep down he will want to stay as well.
“Once the disappointment settles down of him not getting selected I think he will remember who his mates are, who has stuck by him, he will settle down himself and hopefully he will stay.”
Fifita was controversially overlooked for the Clive Churchill medal after scoring the premiership-winning try in the Sharks grand final win over Melbourne two weeks ago.
Two days later he was omitted from Australia’s Four Nations squad.
“He is one of the best props in the game and he deserves to be there,” Gallen said.
“It is hard for him at the moment. The Four Nations is going on, and it (his exclusion) is still being publicised.
“It is probably too early for him to think about returning to the Australia side.
“The best thing for Andrew is to spend time with his family, just take it easy and enjoy the fact we just won the premiership. To smell the roses, as they say.
“And just think about what he has done. This year he has been enormous.
“He was our best player all year along with Matt Prior.
“He just needs to chill out for a while and then think about his future.”