What The Fifita? Blues consider shock backflip
NSW adviser Greg Alexander has revealed the Blues brains trust is considering a shock backflip - selecting prop Andrew Fifita even though he has turned his back on Origin and playing for Australia.
Fifita announced his defection from Australia and NSW to pledge his allegiance to native Tonga only a couple of months ago.
He has committed to representing Tonga in a Pacific Test on the eve of Origin II - a decision that was widely believed to have ruled him out of selection contention altogether.
But when asked last week whether he would make himself available for NSW again, Fifita laughed as he replied; "If they let me play games one and three."
Now the Blues have put the Cronulla wrecking ball back on the table.
It comes on the back of a stunning 80-minute game for the Sharks last week, when Fifita ran for 157m and made 43 tackles in an inspirational performance.
Fifita is adamant he won't be available for the second game of the State of Origin series, but the NSW selection panel isn't fazed by that fact.
"We haven't had an in-depth discussion about where it falls and what could happen. But his form has been outstanding," Alexander told foxsports.com.au on Friday.
"I think Andrew has been the form front-rower over the past month. He's done a great job without the senior players there (at Cronulla).
"If he is available for games one and three it's certainly worth thinking about."
Alexander said the NSW hierarchy was solely focused on selecting their team for game one and would not be taking games two and three into consideration just yet.
That means Fifita could play in Origin I at the MCG on June 6, miss game two and then return for the series finale.
Alexander said Fifita was never really off the selection table.
"I think we knew all along he was available for games one and three," he said.
"But really we hadn't discussed him, just for that fact that it looked like he had picked a side (Tonga) to go to."
Fifita could form a lethal front-row group with firebrand David Klemmer and Origin rookie Reagan Campbell-Gillard. Dragons workhorse Paul Vaughan is also in the mix.
The Blues will announce their Origin I squad on May 28.