Seibold: Fifita’s going nowhere
BRISBANE coach Anthony Seibold has declared David Fifita will not be lost to the Broncos and scoffed at suggestions the club could be blown out of the water by a big-money raid from NRL rivals.
Speaking on the eve of Friday's Broncos-Eels blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium, Seibold confirmed Fifita's desire for a contract extension at Red Hill.
A staggering 10 NRL clubs have expressed interest in blockbusting back-rower Fifita at a time when the Broncos are still attempting to re-sign Queensland Origin winger Corey Oates and veteran utility Alex Glenn.
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But Seibold is adamant the Broncos will not run out of salary cap funds to secure the trio as he gave the strongest indication yet 19-year-old sensation Fifita will remain at Brisbane beyond 2020.
"David has indicated to me that he wants to stay. We don't believe that we will lose him," Seibold said.
"He loves the Broncos and he is best friends with Payne Haas (Brisbane prop) and those kind of guys.
"Every indication he has given me is that he wants to stay - he is a player that we won't lose.
"He will be a Bronco, we believe."
NRL suitors have indicated they are prepared to pay almost $1 million a season to poach Fifita, but Seibold is confident with Brisbane's financial position despite recently outlaying $4 million to retain Matt Lodge and Tevita Pangai Jr.
"We have money for David," he said.
"We won't have to worry about letting players go or not having enough money to keep him. We know the value he brings to our club and we are really confident we will keep him.
"He is someone who is from the area, loves the club and has been with the club for a long time.
"We also understand that there will be a great deal of interest in him from other clubs but believe it or not, we have a recruitment-and-retention committee that gets the budgets together."
Seibold believes Fifita can be Brisbane's X-factor after his barnstorming two-try display in a 22-20 loss to Souths last week.
The eighth-placed Broncos will move closer to a finals berth by beating the sixth-placed Eels on Friday night and the hard-running Fifita shapes as Brisbane's match-winner on the edges.
"Dave has really improved," Seibold said. "He made 17 or 18 tackle breaks last week - it was an outstanding performance.
"He runs with real intent and has great athletic ability so he is a real weapon for us in attack.
"We just want to get him the ball in the right places."
The Eels flogged the Broncos 38-10 in round 14 in Sean O'Sullivan's debut for the club but Seibold backed the rookie halfback to marshall Brisbane's attack in his sixth career game.
"Sean O'Sullivan will be better for the run last week," he said. "We've had to make changes with our halves this year for a number of reasons, but having Sean back in there, having done two or three sessions and a full week's preparation, he will be more confident."