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Tuqiri ready to blitz the world



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A fresher, leaner, meaner and faster Lote Tuqiri will soon be unleashed on the world. This is, according to reports quoting Wallaby coach John Connolly, who revealed that the wing is on a “secret training regimen” to regain his best form.

Although Connolly defends the 27-year-old dual international with some typical Australian statistical jargon, it is a fact that he was way off the pace in the just completed Super 14 competition.

Now, while being rested from the upcoming series with Wales, Tuqiri has been set up to three explosive sessions a day away from the Wallaby squad.

While his Australian teammates are preparing for the Test against Wales in Sydney on Saturday night, Tuqiri has been honing his skills in sprint sessions.

Connolly told The Daily Telegraph the idea to stand down Tuqiri from the two games against Wales was designed to rediscover his speed – and it was already reaping rewards.

After Tuqiri hit the sand at Manly on Wednesday, while the Wallabies side for the season-opening international was being announced across the promenade, Connolly said: “This is all about reloading him for the big games ahead. Lote got criticism in some quarters this year for the way he played at New South Wales.

“Yet the statistics show he got more touches and ran more metres with the ball than any other winger in the competition. We were delighted with his Super 14 efforts. Now we just want to freshen him up and we’re already seeing improvements.”

There is a feeling within the Wallabies camp that the Waratahs’ training program flattened Tuqiri and dulled the explosiveness and pace that made him the game’s most feared winger.

Wallabies fitness guru Jason Weber discussed the situation with the Australia coaching staff more than six weeks ago. It was decided Tuqiri should be fine-tuned – like a Ferrari needing a service.

“He had a big program through Super 14 and to have him at his absolute best (for the Tri-Nations and the World Cup) we had to give him a freshen up,” Weber told The Daily Telegraph.

“These have been shorter, sharper sessions to recover his running skills.

“It’s similar to a swimmer or a track athlete tapering. You’re letting him recover but keeping the work up to him.

“When you tend to have a heavy workload your co-ordination falls apart a bit and he was fatigued off the back of Super 14. We needed to get back a bit more zip.

“He hasn’t lost it. The tests we have done show the gas is still there.”

Tuqiri gave the new-look approach the thumbs-up.

“I’ve been working on speed, efficiency and technique,” he said. “And I’m getting my body in the right shape for the rest of the year.”

Tuqiri will make his comeback to the Test side against Fiji in Perth on June 9.

365 Digital

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