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Fifita's Canterbury Bulldogs deal collapses

Fifita's Canterbury Bulldogs deal collapses
Andrew Fifita, seen here playing for the Sharks on Sunday, will not join the Bulldogs next year after the stunning collapse of his four-year deal. Copyright: NRL Photos Credit: NRL Photos. Copyright: NRL Photos.
Outspoken Cronulla prop Andrew Fifita's highly publicised $3.4 million deal to join Canterbury-Bankstown is over before it began, with the Bulldogs confirming the Australian Test star won't be joining their ranks from 2015.

The announcement comes barely 72 hours after Fifita controversially declared he wished he had signed with rugby union rather than changed NRL clubs - and that he could see himself returning to Cronulla when his new deal with the blue and whites ended at the end of 2018.

"If I could go back now, I wish I chose rugby and then I wouldn't be getting all the s*** I've been catching now," Fifita told AAP last Friday.

In an astonishingly candid interview, Fifita said a return to rugby union - which he played growing up and as a schoolboy - was inevitable.

"I've pretty much got everything in rugby league except a premiership and that's all I really want, and to win an Origin series," he said.

He continued: "[My] heart's still in Cronulla... I may end up back here in four years' time."

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It's not known how those comments went down with the playing and coaching staff at Canterbury although a four-paragraph statement released by the Bulldogs on Monday confirmed the move was off - with a disagreement over the final terms of his new contract cited as the trigger.

"After signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Andrew we’ve not been able to agree on the final terms of his NRL Playing Contract and have ceased negotiations with his management," said Bulldogs Chief Executive Raelene Castle.

See the Bulldogs' statement here.

Fifita was said to be disappointed at the collapse of the deal, according to his management group I.am Athlete Management.

His deal with the Bulldogs would have made him the highest-paid front rower in the history of the game.

The Sharks released a statement saying the sudden development would be "confusing and disappointing for Andrew".

"The Sharks have been made aware of the latest developments relating to Andrew Fifita and his proposed 2015-2018 NRL Playing Contract with the Bulldogs," the statement said.

"No doubt this situation will be confusing and disappointing for Andrew and the Sharks as a club have an obligation to assist him and his family to manage this issue. 

"After further review of the situation and until speaking with his Andrew and his management the Sharks are not in a position to make further comment."

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