The Sharks' Andrew Fifita has taken a shot at The Footy Show. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
The Sharks' Andrew Fifita has taken a shot at The Footy Show. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Furious Fifita takes down The Footy Show

FORMER NSW Blues prop Andrew Fifita has taken a stunning swipe at Channel Nine's The Footy Show minutes after coming off air.

The towering forward, who is representing Tonga at international level, appeared alongside Pacific Test stars Jason Taumalolo, Joey Leilua and Anthony Milford for Thursday night's edition of the program.

It was all going well as the group went through a four-minute interview with former Kangaroos big man Willie Mason before playing a game called "Double Jinx" hosted by Beau Ryan and Petero Civoniceva.

The game had players simultaneous answer questions - and at one point make farm animal noises - during the short segment.

Fifita took to Instagram to slam the show for wasting his time in the crucial hours leading up to Saturday night's Samoa versus Tonga clash at Campbelltown Stadium.

"The Footy Show, don't ever waste our time again while we (are) trying to prepare for a game for our country!" Fifita posted on his Instagram story shortly after the appearance.

Fifita has declared his allegiance to Tonga for life ahead of Saturday's Pacific Test against Samoa.

The often controversial and always forthright Cronulla prop said he would play out the rest of his representative career for Mate Ma'a, forgoing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.

Andrew Fifita took to Instagram to slam The Footy Show.
Andrew Fifita took to Instagram to slam The Footy Show.

Fifita did not close the door on playing State of Origin for NSW again one day, but the likelihood of that occurring seems slim after slipping down Blues coach Brad Fittler's pecking order.

But Fifita confirmed he would not play for Australia again, after kicking off the Pacific Islands revolution by being one of a handful of leading players, including Jason Taumalolo, to choose to play for a minnow nation over a tier one country during last year's Rugby League World Cup.

The presence of  Fifita, Taumalolo and Michael Jennings has ensured there will be a full house at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday night when Tonga takes on traditional rival Samoa.

Last year, Fifita gave up tens of thousands of dollars after he pledged allegiance to Tonga - which paid $500 per game - turning his back on Australia and its $20,000 per game match fees.

Fifita said it was never about the money - rather he wanted to give back to his family.

"I'm Tonga for life," Fifita told AAP.

Andrew Fifita on the charge for Tonga against England at last year's World Cup.
Andrew Fifita on the charge for Tonga against England at last year's World Cup.

"There are rules where I can play Origin and that, I'll put my hand up for Origin.

"But when the NRL's put the schedule with Origin (on the same weekend as the Pacific Test), I just feel like the pinnacle for our game is representing your country and that's what I'm doing."

Tonga shocked the world when it beat New Zealand in the quarter-finals of last year's World Cup and went within one play of beating England in the semi-finals.

Asked what he would say if he could have the ears of NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg and Rugby League International Federation boss Nigel Wood, Fifita said he wanted to help both the Tongan and the international game to grow.

And that means equal pay for Pacific nations such as Samoa, Fiji and Tonga and more matches against top tier nations.

An end-of-year Test between Australia and Tonga has been mooted and Fifita called for it to happen - not because it would give him a chance to play against his former Kangaroos teammates, but because the Mate Ma'a want a chance to prove themselves against the world's best.

"If you look back at the World Cup, no one is talking about how Australia won," Fifita said.

"No one is talking about how well they went. I think everyone is more asking, 'When is Tonga going to play Australia?' For us, we want to play the world's best.

"I think we proved ourselves against England and New Zealand, that we can match it with the best. We just want to be known as a solid team."

- with AAP


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