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Sharks confident of re-signing Fifita

Interim Cronulla coach Peter Sharp is confident the club can hold on to off-contract Andrew Fifita with the representative prop set to become one of the most sought-after players in the NRL.
Sharks confident of re-signing Fifita
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Feb 20 AAP - Interim Cronulla coach Peter Sharp is confident the club can hold on to off-contract Andrew Fifita with the representative prop set to become one of the most sought-after players in the NRL.

Fifita's current deal expires at the end of this season and the 24-year-old has been linked with a move to South Sydney to replace the departing Sam Burgess.

Manly are also believed to be monitoring his situation.

However, with the Sharks set for a huge cash windfall following the $220 million sale of land next to Remondis Stadium as the first part of the new development, the club will have the funds to keep Fifita if he wants to stay.

The former Wests Tigers front-rower enjoyed a stand-out year in 2013 with his powerful running and try-scoring ability earning him selection in the NSW State of Origin side and the Kangaroos' World Cup-winning team.

Sharp credits Fifita's rise to the culture within the Sharks' dressing room and said he is more than hopeful his bond with his teammates can keep him at the club.

"All good players create interest when they are off-contract. We're confident in keeping him," Sharp told AAP.

"His development has been extraordinary.

"He came here as a big, brash kid and grown as a person and into a very, very good player.

"He mixes with some seasoned campaigners here in Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis and Chris Heighington and that has had an effect on him as well.

"Gal has a real influence on the group and he is very close to Andrew and we're hopeful that will keep him here."

Sharp believes Fifita will continue to progress this season and believes he can become the best front-rower in the game in 2014.

"He's got that body shape that makes him hard to tackle and we think he is only going to get better and better," he said.

"Every Test, every State of Origin, it all goes into the experience bucket and we expect him to be an even better player this year."


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