Lote Tuqiri

There was speculation that he was destined for a move to Irish rugby union and that has now eventuated, with the Wests Tigers confirming that veteran winger Lote Tuqiri has been granted a release and will link up with Irish rugby union side Leinster on a three-month deal.

Tuqiri, who played in 52 games for the Tigers and 151 in his NRL career, has enjoyed a stellar rugby league career as well as a solid rugby union career.

Joining the Tigers in 2010, Tuqiri fast became a fan favourite but with injuries striking at inopportune times, his games played for the Tigers were unfortunately few and far between, though he did return towards the end of this season for the club.

Despite all that, Tuqiri enjoyed his time at the Wests Tigers and was particularly thankful of the support he received from the club, the players and the fans.

“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.

“My first year in 2010 was incredible. To come back from rugby 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.

“I just like to thank former coach Tim Sheens for giving me that opportunity to again play in the NRL. I also enjoyed working under Mick Potter this season.

“I also like to thank the Wests Tigers members and fans for their amazing support of me. It was an honour to play for Wests Tigers and I know the club will only get stronger in the seasons ahead. There is some tremendous young talent here.”

With his departure confirmed, it was his work to help improve and nurture the young backs the club have coming through the ranks in Tim Simona, Marika Koroibete and David Nofoaluma, that most impressed Tigers CEO Grant Mayer.

“His contribution to this club cannot be underestimated. His experience in helping young wingers such as Marika Koroibete and David Nofoaluma has been invaluable.

“Lote Tuqiri will always hold a special place in the hearts of all Wests Tigers fans.”

By ricky

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