‘Fake’ post blamed as Niu mends fences with Broncos
Broncos young gun Tesi Niu has become embroiled in a social-media storm with the rookie forced to deny allegations he plans to quit Brisbane and follow David Fifita to the Titans.
News Corp Australia can reveal Niu was an unfortunate victim of a "fake" Facebook post that suggested he could leave Brisbane next year to play alongside Fifita, one of his closest friends, at the Titans in 2022.
Fifita announced last week he would join the Titans from next season on a three-year, $3.5 million deal.
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Two days later, a cryptic post appeared on social media with an assortment of pictures of Niu and Fifita arm-in-arm, accompanied by the comment: "I will follow you my brother sooner or later".
The clear inference was that Fifita would be joined at the Gold Coast by Niu, who three weeks ago knocked back the Titans and signed a one-year upgrade with Brisbane, meaning he is a free agent for 2022.
Further investigations by the Broncos discovered the post appeared on the Facebook page of Niu's father Fanitesi Loto'aniu.
It is not certain whether Niu's father wrote the message himself or had his account hacked, but the inflammatory comment prompted the Broncos to seek clarity from their promising teenage fullback.
It is understood the 18-year-old is furious with the post and told Broncos hierarchy he is so committed to the club he is prepared to sign a longer-term extension next season.
Brisbane football-operations chief Peter Nolan said the Broncos are not concerned Niu will walk out to continue his career with Fifita at the Titans.
"I have spoken to Tesi and he is 100 per cent committed to the Broncos and always has been," Nolan said.
"We're not sure where the post has come from, but it's a fake post.
"It wasn't written by Tesi, he has signed his Broncos contract and doesn't endorse any comments that were made about him."
Titans culture chief Mal Meninga expressed interest in Niu earlier this season but the Souths Logan junior ultimately stayed loyal to the Broncos.
The quick-stepping fullback was rewarded with his NRL debut against the Roosters in June.
Niu has since played six games, only to suffer a season-ending wrist injury in Brisbane's 48-0 loss to the Wests Tigers a fortnight ago.