Qld coach talks up Fifita Origin debut
Until now David Fifita has kept a low profile ahead of his State of Origin debut.
But Queensland coach Kevin Walters has ensured all eyes will be on the rookie forward after claiming the teenager will "explode" off the bench on Wednesday night.
Brisbane hitman Fifita - just 19 - was in high demand after becoming the first player born in the 2000s to be picked to play Origin.
However, he was off limits to media in the lead-up to the Origin series opener at Suncorp Stadium, coincidentally after it was revealed his father was in custody for multiple charges including drug possession.
Fifita was kept in cotton wool during the team's sole full squad media session just hours after reports emerged his dad had made a failed plea to a Queensland magistrate to be released from custody to watch his son play for the Maroons.
But any remaining chance of staying under the radar was scuppered by Walters, who didn't hold back when asked about the Broncos hardman on match eve.
"We have seen what he can do on a football field, he's a great asset for our side coming off the bench," he said.
"There won't be a lot of pressure on when he comes on but when gets on there he's going to explode."
Walters didn't stop there, talking up the impact Fifita and his fellow bench forwards Dylan Napa and Joe Ofahengaue would make on Wednesday night.
Fifita's Broncos teammate Ofahengaue is also on debut.
"We picked a starting 13 to go out and do the job in the opening exchanges and then we have got some excellent players to come on and relieve those players," he said.
"Guys like Dylan Napa, Joe Ofahengaue and David Fifita coming off the bench.
"Whoa, come on. How good is that for Queensland?"
Fifita will cap a rapid rise, making his Origin debut after playing just 22 NRL games.
Remarkably, Fifita was playing Mal Meninga Cup under 18s this time last year.
"The intensity and aggression that he plays with is something that stood out," Walters said.
"Dave has been part of our emerging programs since being a 15 year old boy.
"Now all of a sudden at 19 he will run out in his first ever Origin game - that's exciting."
Teammates have been forced to do the talking for Fifita during his media ban.
And NSW would not have liked what they heard from Maroons backrower Felise Kaufusi.
"For a young guy, David has that strength and attitude that I have now, and he's only just turned 19," 27-year-old Kaufusi said.
"I am really impressed by him. He is going to be pretty exciting."
© AAP 2019