David Fifita's 'secret' Des Hasler clause revealed in potential blow for Titans

The Titans star is reportedly a free agent despite signing a three-year extension in August.

Pictured David Fifita left and Des Hasler right
David Fifita has entered the player market after it was revealed he has a Des Hasler clause in his contract that allows him to join a rival club in 2025. Image: Getty

David Fifita has reportedly become a free agent as of November 1, despite signing a three-year contract extension in August. The Daily Telegraph reports the Titans star has a player option written into his extension for 2024 and 2025, allowing Fifita to see how he gels with new coach Des Hasler before taking up the option to extend.

Fifita's current contract sees him take home close to $1 million per-season but due to the clause in his contract, he is currently free to negotiate with rival clubs. The secret clause in Fifita’s contract reportedly allows him to first build rapport with Hasler before deciding if he wants to stay at the club long-term.

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Seen as one of the most destructive runners in the NRL, Fifita is sure to have plenty of potential suitors. The Origin representative reportedly was heading out the door after Justin Holbrook was sacked but has since changed his mind.

After numerous meetings with Hasler and fellow teammate Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, the star second-rower agreed to stay put. Fa’asuamaleaui signed a massive deal that sees him contracted at the Titans until 2033 but also has a get-out clause written into his deal that allows him to leave at the end of 2026 if he so chooses. It is understood that Fifita has been given up until Round 10 to ultimately decide if his future is on the Gold Coast.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 30: David Fifita of the Titans runs the ball during the round 22 NRL match between Gold Coast Titans and North Queensland Cowboys at Cbus Super Stadium on July 30, 2023 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
It is understood that David Fifita has been given up until Round 10 to ultimately decide if his future is on the Gold Coast. Image: Getty

Hasler believes he can bring Titans maiden premiership

Hasler is confident the Titans have the spine at the club already to win their first premiership. The Gold Coast coach says he is excited about the upcoming season and the challenge ahead and pointed to the Broncos as an example of how quickly fortunes can turn.

“You've only got to look at one of the grand finalists from the last game; where they were a couple of years ago and where they are now,” Hasler said as he was unveiled as the Titans new coach. “So it all turns; it turns on a coin almost. You've only got to look at the Newcastle Knights and the way their season they went (as well); Kalyn Ponga was retiring, they were in the bottom six after Round 11; so that's what that window is and it's a great opportunity to seize it.

“(For us), it's around performing capability-wise and playing that consistency of games across the season. To put it simply, it's about raising the expectations and raising the capabilities … (and with) experience, now that they've played a number of seasons, (that experience) should start to kick in, that's how you gain that consistency.”

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