ANDREW FIFITA, one of the star players who helped the rise of Tonga to become potential World Cup winners, and the twin brother of departing Wakefield favourite David Fifita, has called time on his NRL career.
The 33-year-old Cronulla Sharks prop confirmed his retirement after a 13-year stint, which included more than 250 NRL matches as well as seven appearances for Australia, ten for Tonga, ten for New South Wales and six for the Indigenous All Stars.
A member of the Cronulla ‘Team of the Half Century’, Fifita was instrumental in the club’s maiden title triumph of 2016, when Melbourne Storm were beaten 14-12 in the Grand Final.
He had played 39 games for the Wests Tigers in 2010 and 2011.
Fifita played for Tonga when they lost 20-18 to England in the semi-final of the 2017 World Cup and he played for the Tongans when they defeated both Great Britain and Australia in 201§9.
“I am extremely grateful for all the milestones and memories,” said Fifita.
“I can retire knowing I’ve fulfilled everything I had dreamed of achieving.”
Cronulla coach Craig Fitzgibbon added: “Andrew’s an amazing guy and an amazing club man.
“I’d worked with him a little bit in rep footy, but not knowing him that well personally, the thing that really stood out to me is how much he cares about the club and the players.
“He has a real presence and leadership that will never be replaced, and he can finish his career proud of what he’s achieved.”
The twins, who were born and bred in the Western Sydney suburb of Blacktown, have an older brother Latu, also a prop, who had a spell with Workington and played for North Sydney Bears in the New South Wales Cup and Northern Pride in the Queensland equivalent.