The Courier-Mail

FI­FITA CRE­ATES BUZZ AMONG YOUNG STARS

- AN­DREW DAW­SON Sports · National Rugby League · Rugby League · Rugby · Gold Coast · Australia · David Fifita · Gold Coast Titans · Brisbane Broncos · Logan City

NRL mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar man David Fi­fita has not laced on a boot for the Gold Coast Titans but al­ready his magic has worn off on three Mars­den State High School stu­dents bound for the club.

Mars­den’s Taelon Te-Whi­uHopa, Will Semu and EJ Finau can al­ready feel the buzz around the Titans’ train­ing venues fol­low­ing the club’s prized sign­ing of Fi­fita from the Bris­bane Bron­cos.

“See­ing him go there gives the club some good hype, gets the fans in be­cause he is a big name,’’ said Te-Whiu-Hopa, his eyes alight in an­tic­i­pa­tion of train­ing with Fi­fita during the off-sea­son.

Finau added: “Some­one like David Fi­fita com­ing is good for us boys to look up to and mo­ti­vates us to train harder.’’

Semu said it was not only the ad­di­tion of Fi­fita which was ex­cit­ing but the ad­di­tion of fel­low for­wards Her­man Ese’ese and Tino Fa’asua­maleaui for next sea­son.

The trio and a fourth Mars­den SHS player, Langer Cup for­ward Sione Fo­tu­aika, are all un­der con­tract to the Titans.

They said the train­ing en­vi­ron­ment around the club was sky high even be­fore Fi­fita signed.

“The team cul­ture, ev­ery­one is wel­com­ing. It is great,’’ Finau said. “I have been there for two years and it feels like home.”

Te-Whiu-Hopa and Semu agreed. “There has been a lot of im­prove­ment,’’ Te-Whiu-Hopa said.

“I have been there since the 13s. It has im­proved over the years and is bet­ter.’’

Semu added: “The ju­nior de­vel­op­ment is prob­a­bly the best I have been in so far. ‘’

Gold Coast sign­ing the four Mars­den play­ers from league-rich Lo­gan is a win for the club.

While Titans have the likes of Sione’s older brother Moeaki Fo­tu­aika (Lo­gan Broth­ers ju­nior) and reserve winger Greg Lelei­si­uao (Woodridge SHS) on their list, Lo­gan City has been open sea­son for just about ev­ery other NRL club in the past and Titans re­cruits have been lim­ited.

Clearly the tal­ent pool is be­ing watched given the ad­di­tion of TeWhiu-Hopa, Semu, Finau and Fo­tu­aika from Mars­den SHS.

The Langer Cup and Wal­ters

Cup are be­ing live streamed at www.couri­er­mail.com.au each Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, while two Titans Chal­lenge games are streamed on re­play each Thurs­day.

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 ?? Pic­ture: Sarah Mar­shall ?? Mars­den State High play­ers Will Semu, EJ Finau and Taelon TeWhiu-Hopa are ex­cited by David Fi­fita’s move to the Gold Coast Titans.
Pic­ture: Sarah Mar­shall Mars­den State High play­ers Will Semu, EJ Finau and Taelon TeWhiu-Hopa are ex­cited by David Fi­fita’s move to the Gold Coast Titans.

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