Wakefield Trinity legend David Fifita set to retire

Wakefield Trinity started the 2023 Super League season off on torrid form as they lost their first 14 games before finally landing that first win against Leeds Rhinos before a dramatic drop goal win over Wigan Warriors truly kickstarted their season.

One of the major catalysts in Trinity picked up wins was the return of their iconic leader from down under, Dave Fitita aka ‘The Big Bopper’, who returned to the club and has featured since Magic Weekend in round 14.

Whilst Trinity lost that day up in Newcastle they went on to win four of their next six, which has left them just two points behind relegation rivals Castleford Tigers and in with a chance at surviving.

Whilst it’s not all been down to Fifita, he’s helped a hell of a lot, and has cemented his status as a Wakefield legend and he’s now confirmed his ‘second’ and official retirement.

Fifita took to Instagram to share the news in a post early this morning.

It was simply an image with the words: “I am excited to announce my retirement from the professional game at the end of the 2023 season.”

He also tagged his partner Jade, who is currently pregnant and about to give birth on the other side of the world, something which Fifita had previously explained when he made the decision to return.

It was something that was spoken about by head coach Mark Applegarth this past week when he spoke with BBC Leeds.

“Yeah, it’s exactly as we said when we signed him, he’s got his family back home and his wife’s due any minute, so it’s the right thing to do by Dave, he’s a family man and he’s close to his family and family always comes first, so we’ll play that by ear.

“I’m in constant dialogue with him about it. He is with me and we’ll see how it all unfolds with Dave. If he has to go home to be with his family, I 100% back him on that every single time.

“I appreciate him coming over in the short-term period that he has and giving us that lift and boost. Ultimately, family is family and they’re there for the rest of your life. What an incredible thing it is, experiencing the birth of your new child and things. Who am I to say, no, I don’t want you around for it. I haven’t really got a voice on that side. I appreciate everything Dave’s done in that sense.”

Asked if this week could be his last game, Applegarth said:

“I don’t know if I’m honest with you. I think he’ll probably be around for another two or three weeks at least. But if he does have to go home, I don’t think anyone can knock him for it, can they?

“I really respect Dave for what he’s done, coming over here, it must be tough for him in that sense. We’ll see what happens over the next three or four weeks.

“There’s no surprise on mine or the club’s part or his part, the conversations have been happening since we signed him.

“He’s going to be a player that’s talked about for many years to come is Dave, not just for coming back and helping the fight this year, but what he’s done in previous years too.

“He’s a larger than life character. Any young kid that’s come and watched Dave, he’s normally the last in the changing rooms after because he takes all that stuff very, very serious and rightly so. He’ll make sure he signs every single young fan’s autograph, take personal pictures, whatever it is.

“I can’t speak highly enough about the guy. Just a genuine family man that’s out in the right place and rightly so. He’ll go down as a big part of Wakefield Trinity’s history, regardless of whatever happens this year or years to come.”

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