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Lote Tuqiri

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Lote Tuqiri
Lote
Lote Tuqiri
Date of birth September 23 1979 (age 37)
Place of birth Namatakula, Fiji
Height 1.91
Weight 100
Rugby union career
Position Wing
Outside Center
Amateur clubs
2002-present West Harbour
correct as of 2006-09-12.
Super Rugby Caps (points)
2003-present Waratahs 55 (105)
correct as of 2007-03-07.
National team(s)    
2003-present Australia 52 (135)
correct as of 2007-03-07.
Rugby league career
Position Wing
Professional clubs Caps (points)
1999-2001 Brisbane Broncos 99 (250)
correct as of 13 September 2006.
State of Origin
2001-2002 Queensland 6 (28)
correct as of 13 September 2006.
National teams
2000
2001-2001
Fiji
Australia
3(?)
4
(?)
(12)
correct as of 13 September 2006.
Lote Tuqiri (born 23 September, 1979 in Namatakula, Fiji) is an Australian rugby union player and former rugby league player. He has played for the Wallabies over 40 times and was a part of their 2003 Rugby World Cup squad. He currently plays for the Waratahs in the Super 14. Tuqiri first rose to prominence as a rugby league player for the Brisbane Broncos and Queensland Maroons, as well as the Fiji and Australia national sides. In both sports he plays as a winger.

CareerEdit

Rugby leagueEdit

Tuqiri won the Brisbane Broncos' rookie of the year award in 1999. In 2000 he secured his regular spot in the first grade line-up at the Broncos, proving to be a talented winger in the year that the Broncos won their third premiership in four seasons. His partnership with Wendell Sailor on the other wing proved a nightmare for opposition teams to defend against and both players shared the top try-scorer position in the 2000 season with 18 apiece. The considerable size of both wingers also made it as though there were two extra forwards on the field. This contributed greatly to the Broncos' dominance in this period. Tuqiri also captained Fiji in the 2000 World Cup.

The following year Tuqiri was one of many players picked by Queensland for their debut appearance in State of Origin. His selection proved to be a spectacular success when he scored the Maroons' opening try and played impressively throughout the series, which was won by Queensland. That season he also went on to play test rugby league for Australia and became recognised as the best winger in Rugby League. He was also the Broncos' top try-scorer for the 2001 season.

The 2002 season was also an impressive one, and Tuquiri showed much of his renowned strenth and speed, in round 9 setting a new club record for most points scored by one player in a single match. Once more he topped the Broncos' try-scoring ladder for the season (along with Darren Lockyer and Chris Walker) and again he represented both Queensland and Australia. He was picked to represent Australia against New Zealand, scoring a try in the 28-10 victory in the one-off Test match.

Tuqiri played a total of six games for Queensland in the State of Origin series in 2001 and 2002, scoring a total of 28 points. He is also one of a select few players to score a hat-trick in an interstate match. Altogether, Lote played 100 games for Brisbane between 1997 and 2002 and clocked up a tally of 260 points.

Rugby union Edit

Tuqiri's talent attracted the interest of the Australian Rugby Union, and at the end of the 2001 football season he announced that he had signed a contract to play rugby union in 2002 with the New South Wales Waratahs, and was therefore leaving rugby league. In 2002 he switched codes, moving from league to play union with the Waratahs. Tuquri's transition to rugby union proved to be successful, and no one was surprised when his speed and strength gained him selection for the Wallabies, for whom he made his international union debut in June 2003 against Ireland. At that point he became Australia's 43rd and most recent dual code rugby international.

He was one of four former Queensland Maroons players to feature in two of the top three teams in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, along with Mat Rogers and Wendell Sailor for Australia and Brad Thorn for the All Blacks. Tuqiri scored tries against Romania and Namibia during the pool stages, and scored the Wallabies' only try in the final against England. He finished the tournament as one of the top try scorers for Australia, behind Rogers and Chris Latham.

In 2004 Tuqiri toured the United Kingdom and France with the Wallabies. On the Wallabies 2005 tour of British Isles and Europe he was moved in-field to centre due to a considerable loss of backs through injury during that tour. In 2006 he was selected to represent Australia in the rugby sevens event at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. That season the Waratahs were semi-finalists in the Super 14. During that years Tri Nations series Tuqiri was suspended for around five games after a dangerous tackle on All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.

During 2006-07 there was a lot of speculation regarding his future and whether he would stay in rugby union or return to rugby league. Tuqiri had stated that he was considering returning to league after the 2007 Rugby World Cup, following the footsteps of fellow Waratah and league convert Mat Rogers. Tuqiri had options to re-sign his contract with either the Waratahs or the Reds in the Super 14, or numerous clubs in the National Rugby League, including the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Cronulla Sharks. After being given a 5:00pm deadline on 13th of March 2007 to either accept or decline the offer from the Australian Rugby Union he announced he had decided to stay in rugby union for the next five years after receiving a massive last-minute contract boost by sponsors rumoured to be worth up $1.2 million a season. Souths is believed to have offered Tuqiri about $800,000 a season although the NRL club couldn't compete with the ARU deal, which included several lucrative third-party deals including one with telecommunications giant Vodafone. This means that Tuqiri will stay with the Waratahs and the Wallabies till the year 2012.

IncidentsEdit

During a 2007 Super 14 game, Tuqiri pushed Sam Norton-Knight from the back due to the fact that he was unhappy with a decision taken by Knight which cost them the match. [1]


In the same year, his callous actions of putting a phone call to Wallabies selector Michael O'Connor on loudspeaker caused embarrassment to Peter Hewat; who was mentioned in negative light during the phone conversation.

[2]

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

Template:Australia Squad 2007 World Cup Template:Australia Squad 2003 World Cupfr:Lote Tuqiri it:Lote Tuqiri

Template:Brisbane Broncos Premiership

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