Mal Meninga believes Andrew Fifita is one of rugby league’s best props and Todd Greenberg hopes to see him playing for Australia again one day but that won’t happen until the Cronulla star sorts himself out away from the NRL.
Fifita has been omitted from selection for Australian coach Meninga’s Four Nations squad due to off field issues.
It comes after the Cronulla prop controversially missed out on the Clive Churchill medal, which is voted on by Australian selectors.
“Andrew is one of the best front-rowers in the game, but there is more to playing for Australia than just ability,” Meninga said.
The hardline stance on on off field issues will also be taken at State of Origin level.
NRL boss Greenberg spearheaded the move against player misbehaviour which punctuated the NRL season, starting with Mitchell Pearce’s Australia Day antics.
“I hope this decision is seen for what it is,” NRL boss Todd Greenberg said.
“We are determined to build a culture in the Kangaroos that all Australians can be proud of.
“If they misbehave in future they will miss out on playing for their country.
“I hope all players heed this warning.
“If players don’t behave off the field, they will be hit with the ultimate sanction and that is missing out on the chance of playing for Australia.
“I hope Andrew learns from this and plays for his country soon.”
Fifita’s support for one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge remains the subject of a NRL integrity unit investigation.
Greenberg would not give a time frame on when that investigation would finish but it is expected to take some time.