Thursday, October 26, 2006
Tuqiri Fiji Rugby Star
Tuqiri, star rugby player
When the Fijian rugby star Lote Tuqiri plays in the Australian team it makes everybody happy but now there are poachers wanting him.
He replies "I like getting a lot of offers put in front of me first and then making a decision."
Lote is an outstanding young man and and sports star and he comes from Namatakula on the Coral Coast of Fiji. If you drive past this village you see a large billboard about Lote Tuqiri and he is helping his village with development. Lote is using his newfound wealth to help his relatives and Fiji.
Here are parts of an article in the Australian by Peter Jenkins
October 26, 2006
AUSTRALIAN Rugby Union bosses have failed to scare off British poachers wanting to lure Lote Tuqiri offshore after next year's Rugby World Cup.
High-powered suitors are already organised to make mega-lucrative pitches when Tuqiri arrives in the UK on Saturday for Australia's seven-game tour of Europe. ARU officials have opened negotiations with Tuqiri's management, and a four-season $4million deal is set to be tabled after his return from the month-long European assignment.
But the record-breaking salary offer has not driven away high-level interest from rugby union and rugby league clubs in Britain, and possibly elsewhere.
Tuqiri, mentioned previously as a target of new NRL club the Gold Coast Titans, confirmed: "To be honest there have been some feelers put out there by other parties (apart from the ARU).
"I like getting a lot of offers put in front of me first and then making a decision."
Gary Hetherington, chief executive of the Leeds club which funds both league and union teams in Britain's top-tier competitions, said he had read of the massive offer the ARU is preparing for Tuqiri, who is off-contract at the end of next season.
But he suggested the 27-year-old dual international could name his own price - in either code - if he chose to move to Britain.
"Lote is a world-class player and I imagine there'd be a lot of interest from clubs over here," Hetherington said. "At Leeds we are always interested in class players, be it a Lote Tuqiri or a Darren Lockyer. "He's also Fijian so he'd be off quota."
British clubs are limited to how many foreign players they can sign, but Pacific Islanders are exempt from the rule.