Code-hopping Tuqiri does it again
Tue, 10 Sep 2013 07:01
I've really enjoyed my time at Wests Tigers
Former Wallaby Lote Tuqiri will return to Rugby Union, with Irish province Leinster, after three years playing for Wests Tigers in Australia's National Rugby League.
The 33-year-old wing was a huge star in League before switching codes to Union and enjoying seven successful years with the Waratahs and the Wallabies, before joining the Tigers in 2010.
He is now coming off contract with the club and said he was heading to Leinster for a three-month stint, with his playing future beyond this uncertain.
"I've really enjoyed my time at Wests Tigers and will take with me a lot of special memories as well as many friendships I've made with the players and staff," Tuqiri said.
"My first year in 2010 was incredible. To come back from Rugby [Union] and to achieve what I did was a great feeling. It was a great side to be a part of it but unfortunately we fell one game short of the grand final."
Tuqiri made a spectacular debut for Wests Tigers when he scored with his first touch of the ball against Manly at the Sydney Football Stadium in the opening round of the premiership, and he quickly became a fan favourite.
He has played 67 times for the Wallabies.
Wests Tigers said in a statement that Tuqiri has been granted a release from the club to allow him to take up an opportunity to play Rugby Union again.
Tuqiri left Sydney on Monday for his brief stint with Leinster.
A highly respected player, Tuqiri played 52 games for Wests Tigers and 151 NRL games.
He played his final game for Wests Tigers against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville last Saturday.
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