Defiant Hasler's big claim after Fifita hammer blow

Barnstorming backrower David Fifita has informed Gold Coast he will be leaving the club at season's end.

Defiant Hasler's big claim after Fifita hammer blow

UPDATED: Titans coach Des Hasler denies David Fifita's exit is a sign the club is struggling.

Rather, he says Gold Coast is moving in the right direction, despite the barnstorming backrower turning down an option to stay on the glitter strip in 2025.

The 24-year-old will join either the Panthers or Roosters at the end of this year once his commitments with the Titans are finished.

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"I guess it's disappointing, but also it's all part of the game, it's all part of the theatre," Hasler told media on Thursday after learning of Fifita's decision.

"It's part of the football merry-go-round - players come and go. The time has come to an end and he's going to move to Sydney and pursue his footy down there.Titans coach Des Hasler.

"The club sincerely wishes him all the best. It's a decision David has made, we will accept that and move on.

"I think the players will just get on with it, to tell you the truth. What can they do?

"Of course he will play (this week) and he will play well."

Gold Coast has won only one of eight games this season despite hopes Hasler's arrival would spark a turnaround for the perennial battlers.

The coach doesn't believe Fifita's exit will hamper the team's progress.

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"The club is growing. So far the year the results probably don't lean towards that, but those who know footy... there is something happening here," he said.

"We will continue along that path and keep moving forward."

Fifita flew south to Sydney earlier this week and met with both powerhouse clubs.

Penrith is believed to have tabled a three-year offer worth about $850,000 a season.David Fifita pictured in action for the Gold Coast Titans during the 2023 NRL season

The Roosters have reportedly offered him four years, but for a lower annual salary.

Fifita could have earned about $1 million if he stayed on the glitter strip next year.

He burst onto the NRL scene with the Broncos in 2018 and was called into the Queensland Origin team the following year.

He jumped ship to the Titans in 2021 on a deal worth $1.25m a season - at that time the richest per-season deal ever signed in the game.

But Gold Coast has struggled since he's been there, playing only one finals game.

It's understood the 24-year-old is now more motivated by the prospect of winning premierships than adding to his bank account.