Destructive Cronulla and City Origin prop Andrew Fifita has admitted he wouldn't have picked himself for the Kangaroos based on his recent form.
Speaking from the City Origin camp, Fifita – who has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks, having lost a Bulldogs contract before re-signing with the Sharks – explained that it was his fault he wasn't selected for Australia despite being a member of the Kangaroos' World Cup winning team last year.
"It's a tough decision. It's up to the selectors. To be honest it's not their fault, it's my fault I couldn't perform better on the field and at the end of the day I'm here in the City team and happy being here," Fifita said.
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"I wasn't disappointed. I knew my form wasn't right. It's a boost for me showing that you should never think to highly of yourself, you can't think that you're in a team that you're not going to be in, so it's a really good motivation for myself to get back into the top team and that's where you want to play no matter what.
"The selectors chose a very good, solid 17 players and it goes on performance and not one of them [have played poorly]. I'd have ruled myself out."
While Fifita will still get an opportunity to show his worth in this weekend's representative round, the St Patricks Blacktown junior has declared that he'll be treating the game like a representative debut.
"In my mind, I'm going to brush everything – I haven't played rep footy before. I'm going to start all over again and that's how I'm going to play every year," Fifita said.
"It's a main goal and that's how you need to play every single year to the best of your ability, you can't have those little slumps in your game.
"I'm in the City team and I'm not going to let anyone take my position and that's my main goal. One of my goals was to make the Anzac Test and I didn't make it ... but at the end of the day I started from here last year and I can get back to where I was. I'm just looking forward to the future.
"I don't want to jinx myself but I can now go back to playing happy football. That's where I was last year; I had nothing to worry about at all. That's what I really want to get back into and it should start this weekend."
While his well-documented contract dramas were finally solved last weekend when he re-signed for the Sharks for a further four years following the Bulldogs tearing up a multi-million-dollar memorandum of understanding, Fifita is just happy to concentrate on his football.
"We have 80 minutes to play footy; it's what we have to do for a living. It was my choice, I can't judge a game on whether I'm going to play good or play well, I just got to play the way I usually do. I guess nothing's just been happening for me this year. It has been tough," Fifita explained.
"I'm back with the Sharks, I'm there for another four years and I've got nothing to worry about now. I've moved back to the Shire now. It's a massive relief for me and my family.
"It's just been really draining ... but I'm happy [to] just put it behind me and get on with it. Let's just concentrate on the future."