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Gallen: Fifita and Kangaroos selectors both got it wrong

Sporting News logo Sporting News 15/12/2016
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Cronulla captain Paul Gallen says he can’t support team-mate Andrew Fifita’s actions in the Kieran Loveridge controversy, but insists the Sharks giant should have been picked in the Kangaroos Four Nations squad.

The NRL slapped Fifita with a breach notice on Tuesday after the giant prop wrote ‘F.K.L’ – believed to stand for free Kieran Loveridge – on his wrist for several games of the 2016 season.

Fifita’s support for his childhood friend and convicted one-punch killer Loveridge sparked outrage and led to his omission from Mal Meninga’s squad named in October.

It likely also cost him the Clive Churchill Medal in Cronulla’s historic grand-final victory over Melbourne, with many pundits agreeing Fifita was the best player on the park.

“I don’t know the whole story about the person (Loveridge) he was trying to help but you can’t condone what that person did and I never will - I can’t stick up for Andrew on that front,” Gallen told The Daily Telegraph.

“He is past it now and there’s no point looking back. He didn’t play for Australia and they still won.

“… He’s the best prop in the game. He should have played for Australia, I think everyone knows that.”

The details of Fifita’s breach notice have not officially been revealed but it has been widely reported he will escape suspension and instead cop a heavy fine.

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