A tug-of-war over David Fifita has taken another twist ahead of Brisbane’s must-win NRL clash with Gold Coast after the Titans confirmed prop Shannon Boyd was considering retirement.
Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook said the ex-Test forward looked set to decide his future after battling lingering injuries – a move that may impact on the Titans’ plans to lure Brisbane star Fifita on a $5 million deal.
Boyd is barely halfway through a $2.4 million, four-year contract but is reportedly looking to leave effective immediately.
Any payout would be included in the Gold Coast’s salary cap for the next two seasons.
It could affect Gold Coast’s bold bid to poach Fifita on a reported $1 million-a-season, five-year deal from 2021.
Ahead of Saturday’s Suncorp Stadium derby, Holbrook said they were waiting on Boyd to make a final decision.
“He’s been battling injury for a long time. He’s a big boy and the game is getting really quick,” he said.
“So it’s up to Boyd. He is having a think about it at the moment.”
Asked about the Titans’ major play for Fifita, Holbrook said: “There is obviously a lot of talk about that.
“A player of his calibre off contract you are going to have every team interested, we are no different – we will see what happens.”
Brisbane back-rower Tevita Pangai said he wouldn’t try and sway Fifita as the impact forward mulls over his future while recovering from knee surgery.
“He’s got to do the best for him,” Pangai said.
“He (Fifita) is like a little brother to me but I won’t give him advice. He’s a big boy, he can make decisions.”
Boyd’s Titans teammate Jarrod Wallace’s future also appears up in the air with St George Illawarra reportedly sniffing around the Queensland prop as a replacement for St Helens-bound James Graham.
Wallace – who still has two years left on his Titans contract – will play his first NRL game since round three against the Broncos after initially falling out of favour with Holbrook.
Holbrook will be sweating on Keegan Hipgrave after the livewire forward suffered a leg complaint at Friday training.
Corey Thompson, Anthony Don, Sam Lisone (all head knocks), Dale Copley (ankle) and Phillip Sami (cork) have all been cleared.
Meanwhile, Pangai dismissed speculation coach Anthony Seibold had lost the dressing room as the Broncos look to avoid losing five games straight for the first time since 2012.
“He’s one of the big reasons why I re-signed here (last year). I don’t think he has lost the players – that’s news to me,” he said.