‘Reverse DCE’: NRL world reacts to ‘embarrassing’ David Fifita backflip

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The NRL world has reacted with astonishment at David Fifita’s shock decision to stay with the Gold Coast Titans and backflip on his deal to join the Sydney Roosters.

The Roosters on Wednesday released a statement confirming the club had pulled its offer to the 24-year-old following a late night phone call on Tuesday.

The Roosters’ savage move came after the club had been rocked by Fifita’s suggestion to club officials he was having doubts about his decision to leave the Titans.

After a month-long contract saga, the Queenslander was originally reported to have informed the Roosters last week he was ready to accept a $3.3 million, four-year deal with the Sydney club.

However, Fifita has now performed a stunning backflip and has told the Titans he wants to remain with the club.

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The club said in a statement: “The Gold Coast Titans can confirm David Fifita will remain at the club beyond 2024 and have approved his request to activate his player option for the next two seasons.

“This will result in Fifita remaining part of the Gold Coast squad until the end of 2026.”

The Roosters also confirmed the club’s cold-blooded move to severe ties with Fifita after hearing news of his doubts about the big move.

“The Sydney Roosters have withdrawn their offer to David Fifita,” the club announced on Wednesday morning.

“Despite his management making the initial approach to the Club and Fifita personally informing the Sydney Roosters’ Chairman and Head Coach of his intent to join the Club last Thursday, Fifita has since expressed doubt about his decision.

“Consequently, the Club has elected to withdraw its offer with view that it is in the Roosters’ best interests. The Club wishes Fifita all the best.”

Rugby league fans had plenty of fun poking fun at Fifita’s backflip and likened it to Daly Cherry-Evans, who famously reneged on his deal to join the Titans from Manly in 2015.

Leading sports journalist Andrew Webster said on SEN: “He’s done what some people are calling a ‘reverse DCE’. He’s backflipped to stay at the Titans.

“Even by rugby league backflipping proportions, it’s a big one.

“I’m glad the Titans are keeping their big superstar player.”

CODE Sports’ Lachlan McKirdy joked: “The Australian Olympic diving trials are less than a month away. Good to see David Fifita putting the work in before the competition.”

Fifita was booed by Titans fans last weekend in his side’s win over Cowboys at their home ground, and some pundits believed that may have played a part in the move to back out of the Roosters deal.

“I reckon the booing had an effect on David Fifita’s decision,” Fox League commentator Andrew Voss said on SEN on Wednesday.

“Something has happened … I’m not sure I’m buying the whole narrative being thrown out by the Titans,” Broncos great Corey Parker said on SENQ about the conflicting statements issued by the Titans and Roosters.

NRL reporter Christian Nicolussi tweeted: “EMBARRASSING: What a circus involving David Fifita. Glad he’s staying, but who is managing this bloke? Handled sooooo badly. At least Angus Crichton knows what price to ask for now.”

One fan wrote on X: “Not necessarily a fan of backflips, but I am a huge fan of the rich not getting richer. Six again. Play on.”

The Fifita deal falling through allows the Roosters to focus on re-signing in-form second-rower Angus Crichton.

Crichton is out of contract at the end of this year and was disgruntled by the news of Fifita’s signing, which would have pushed him down the pecking order and effectively out the door of the Roosters.

The 28-year-old has been linked to a return to rugby union, having played for the Australian Schoolboys in the 15-man code, and had been linked to French side Montpellier.

News Corp’s Rob Sutherland said: “Since nobody asked … IMO this is good for the Roosters. Keep Angus/Siua and Egan and use Fifita cash to chase a half or centre.”

The Bay 53 Podcast account tweeted: “The Roosters losing out in David Fifita and now left with two disgruntled players in Angus Crichton and Sitili Tupouniua. Uncle Nick is slipping.”

A Penrith fan account posted: “I’m a reading this right??? Did Fifita turn his back on Eastern Suburbs? I mean … for all the crap we’ve copped in the last week, this is worth missing out on him. This is glorious.”

The Titans next play the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday as part of Magic Round.

Read related topics:Sydney

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