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'I've learned a big lesson': Fifita back in Brisbane after Bali jail drama

Broncos forward David Fifita said he learned "a big lesson" from the events that led to his three-day incarceration in a Bali jail cell as he spoke to media on his arrival at Brisbane International Airport on Tuesday morning.

The 19-year-old will now provide the NRL integrity Unit with his version of what occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning outside a Bali nightclub which led to security guard Dani Irawan alleging to police that he was struck by Fifita, only to later withdraw the complaint and sign a "peace deal" with Fifita which led to his release.

Fifita was met by his mother Gwen and Broncos CEO Paul White when he landed in Brisbane on Tuesday morning where he thanked all those involved in securing his release.

Oates: Good to see Fifita home

"There has been a lot going on behind the scenes and I am very grateful for that. It is a great feeling being back home to see my family. I have learned a big lesson from what I have been through the last few days," Fifita said before exiting the airport with his mother.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said he'd wait for a report into the incident from the NRL's Integrity Unit but warned players would face consequences if they make the wrong decisions off the field.

"It's a timely reminder that players need to be acutely aware of the position they put themselves in," Greenberg said on Tuesday.

"I don't want to see players miss games but if they continue to make poor decisions then they'll suffer the consequences. Players know the decisions they make are important.

"In relation to David Fifita I am pleased he is home because it would've been a harrowing experience. I'll wait for the report from the Integrity Unit [before deciding if any action is necessary].

"I don't want to have another off-season of players doing the wrong thing. I get frustrated because there are so many good stories to be told. I want to talk about the great things our players do off the field."

Greenberg frustrated by off-field incidences

White said Fifita had made "a poor decision" to be in a nightclub precinct in Bali at such a late hour.

"I suppose nothing good happens after midnight," White said.

"What's played out, the story that has been played out within the media over the last few days, Dave will have a different version of events to that.

"That will be up to the NRL Integrity Unit to validate that independently of ourselves and we look forward to that opportunity.

I have learned a big lesson from what I have been through the last few days.

David Fifita

"Right at the moment, we're just happy to have him out of that cell in Kuta.

"We understand it was a pretty harrowing experience. David is a good young man and he's going to learn a very big lesson from what he's gone through over the last three days.

"I don't know too many 19-year-old men, his age and of his background, have had an experience like that. As a club, we'll be there to support him and guide him to make better decisions in the future."

White said the Broncos did not pay any money to broker the "peace agreement" before adding that any compensation paid "was agreed upon by David's legal representative over there and David himself".

"These peace agreements are part of these types of incidents and the settlement of these type of incidents and they do involve an agreement between two parties," White said.

David Fifita in action at the World Cup 9s.
David Fifita in action at the World Cup 9s. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

White said it was too early to say whether Fifita would be sanctioned by the club but welcomed the upcoming NRL Integrity Unit investigation.

"From the moment we were informed we rang them immediately. As it turned out things were constantly changing and we kept them updated with everything that happened," White said.

"Now is not the time to be speculating about punishments. As a club, we don't take these incidents flippantly. We take them very seriously and we will work closely with the game … and make our own decisions.

"As I said at the outset I think he made a really poor error of judgement. Nothing good happens after midnight.

"When you put yourself in that precinct you are an identifiable NRL player from Australia and you open yourself up to the risks of that. That is where I think he has really erred.

"What occurred after that … there is a version of events out there and David will have his chance to tell his version to the Integrity Unit and they are the appropriate people because they are independent."

Broncos forward David Fifita.
Broncos forward David Fifita. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

Rugby League Players' Association CEO Ian Prendergast supported the Broncos' handling of the incident.

"Firstly I would like to commend the Brisbane Broncos on the way they have managed this situation, with their primary focus on securing the safe return of David to Australia," Prendergast said.

"Based on the information we have been provided, this case reiterates the need for both the media and public not to prejudge these matters until all of the facts are known.

"We look forward to David being given the opportunity to explain his version of events and the NRL Integrity Unit working with the club to investigate the matter.

"The entire ordeal has had a significant impact on both David and those close to him, so we encourage everyone to respect his privacy while he recovers over the coming days."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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