AAP Rugby

Grateful Fifita’s costly Bali lesson

By AAP Newswire

Brisbane have all but confirmed David Fifita paid to secure his release from a Bali police cell following accusations he'd assaulted a nightclub security guard.

The teenage NRL star returned to Australia early on Tuesday to be greeted by mother Gwen and Broncos chief executive Paul White after spending three days locked up in a Kuta police station.

White said the club had not paid compensation to facilitate Fifita's release but alluded to a private financial arrangement as part of "peace agreement" with the security guard when facing potential jail time.

"Any compensation that was paid was agreed upon by David's legal representative over there and David himself," White told media on Tuesday.

"That is something between David and the alleged victim.

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

Fifita told reporters at Brisbane airport he'd learnt a "big lesson" after the alleged incident, which forced club welfare officer Adam Walsh to fly to Bali to work with his lawyers, Kuta police and the security guard to have the complaint dropped.

"There has been a lot going on behind the scenes and I am really grateful for that," Fifita said.

"It's a great feeling to be home to see my family.

"I've learnt a big lesson from what I've been through these last few days."

While relieved to be home, Fifita must still face NRL integrity unit questioning and possible sanction over the incident, which put another early black mark on the NRL off-season.

However his lawyer in Bali has said he had no recollection of events and the police said he was initially too drink to be questioned.

"I'm very pleased that he's home because it would've been a pretty harrowing experience for him," NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said on Tuesday.

"I was pleased to see those images of him with his family today but it's up to our integrity unit to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

"I'm sure he'll have a version of events and I've got an open mind to see all of that before we make any decisions."

In October, Melbourne prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona received a three-match ban and suspended $15,000 fine from the NRL for his role in a brawl outside the same Kuta nightclub where Fifita's incident allegedly occurred.

The players association issued a statement urging the public to keep an open mind about the incident in the meantime.

"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," RLPA chief executive Ian Prendergast said.

"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."

White said Fifita, entering the final year of his Broncos deal and attracting big interest from several clubs, had made a poor decision by being in the party destination's nightclub precinct in the early hours.

"Nothing good happens after midnight," White said.

"You're always disappointed; we work really hard with our players.

"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."