Lote is shown the money




Wallaby and Waratah winger Lote Tuqiri will be offered more than AUS$3.5 million over four seasons by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) in order to keep him from returning to Rugby League.

Tuqiri’s current contract expires after the World Cup, and reportedly he has been involved with talks with the Sydney Roosters, as well as the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Tuqiri has already turned down the ARU’s original offer, and is on his way to becoming one of the most expensive rugby players of all time.

Tuqiri, speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, confirmed his business manager Les Ross has been negotiating on his behalf, and when he returns from South Africa they “will sit down and take a look”.

ARU general manager Pat Wilson did not reveal too much concerning the Tuqiri dealings.

“We’re just doing some internal dialogue on the subject to work out where we stand,” Wilson said.

“But it is fair to say we were interested in some comments over the weekend, which include that he is supposedly meeting with the Sydney Roosters and he may take a reduced deal to go back to league.

“The main thing for us is to hear from Lote that he has a genuine desire to play for the Wallabies.”

Tuqiri has said that these contractual wranglings have been having an impact upon his rugby.

“It has and it hasn’t,” Tuqiri said.

“It is not an excuse. It’s more about it being so early in the season and me needing to sharpen up.”

“Some of my decision-making wasn’t the best and something I should improve on. It is [about] repetition in training. We haven’t done enough of it, especially for South African teams that kick a lot. I just have to get out on the training park and try and do that, get used to doing that – making the right decisions.”

The Waratahs are currently preparing for their match against the Cheetahs in Kimberley.

Meanwhile the ARU are reportedly trying to persuade Ben Tune to re-consider his decision to retire at the end of the Super 14, for coach John Connolly is short of experience in the outside backs.

365 Digital

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