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Tigers unlikely to offer Tuqiri a new deal

Lote Tuqiri wants to carry on in the NRL next year if his battered body can stand up to it, but it will almost certainly not be with the Wests Tigers.
Tigers unlikely to offer Tuqiri a new deal
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Aug 20 AAP - Lote Tuqiri wants to carry on in the NRL next year if his battered body can stand up to it, but it will almost certainly not be with the Wests Tigers.

The 34-year-old former dual international scored a try against the Sydney Roosters on Monday in his first game in 13 months.

But he could do little to prevent the Tigers from slumping to a 56-14 defeat to the ladder leaders at Allianz Stadium.

It was only the 22nd appearance Tuqiri has made for the club since 2011 having returned to the NRL from English rugby giants Leicester at the start of the 2010 campaign.

Tuqiri scored 17 tries that year and was named in the Kangaroos Four Nations squad.

However, he's battled a series of injuries ever since, including complications stemming from a badly broken arm and the cash-strapped joint-venture are unwilling to offer him a top-tier contract next season.

The former Kangaroos and Wallabies star sat down with the club officials last week and told he should start looking around if he wanted a similar terms to the lucrative deal he is currently on.

Despite coming towards the end of his career, Tuqiri wants to continue playing and believes he can still make a contribution in the NRL.

"I still have something to offer. I will always back myself and my ability," he said.

"If the body's not right I'll give it up, but at the moment I feel pretty good.

"I haven't made a decision on next year, I will play out the next few weeks and go from there."

Despite their woeful season, the Tigers have seen youngsters such as David Nofoaluma, James Tedesco and Tim Simona show encouraging signs of becoming top players.

And Tuqiri said the future is looking very bright for the club.

"There's a lot of good young players coming through and getting some first grade experience," he said.

"It's been tough for them this year, I went through it at times when I was at Brisbane when I started out.

"It was awesome to be out there with them, I love playing at Allianz Stadium, and I am ready to rock and roll next week if I am picked."

The Tigers continued their clear out of their current squad on Tuesday by allowing Joel Reddy to join South Sydney next year.

It follows Benji Marshall being granted an early release to join Super Rugby side Auckland Blues.




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