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Tuqiri edging closer to NRL return

Former dual international Lote Tuqiri says he's not ready to hang up his boots just yet and revealed his frustration at not being able to help the struggling Wests Tigers find some form.
Tuqiri edging closer to NRL return
by AAP

By Ian McCullough and Joe Barton

SYDNEY, May 8 AAP - Former dual international Lote Tuqiri says he's not ready to hang up his boots just yet and revealed his frustration at not being able to help the struggling Wests Tigers find some form.

The veteran winger has not featured this season after breaking his arm against Canterbury last July but is hopeful of being back in action next month.

The Tigers have lost their past five games, sit bottom of the ladder and have been struck down by a crippling injury crisis.

Tuqiri admits it's been hard to watch his battling side but expects to be given the all clear from the specialists so he can return to training.

"I'll see the doctor in a couple of weeks and go from there," Tuqiri said.

"I haven't played a lot of footy and I just want to get it right.

"I've got to temper that a bit in wanting to get back too quickly and then rushing it."

Tuqiri has been blighted with injuries since returning to the NRL in 2010 after almost a decade playing rugby union.

Now aged 33, the former Wallabies star insists he's not ready to retire and is desperate to get back out on the field.

"You see a lot of footy going on at the moment and you just want to get out there, especially the way the Tigers are going," he said.

"We're not going too good on the injury front and you just want to get in there and help.

"I've got to get another scan in two weeks and then I'll go from there and probably have a return date then."

Tuqiri was expected to be fit to start the season but was forced to undergo another operation after there were complications from the original injury.

"I've been ready for a while. I jumped the gun. I was supposed to be ready in round one but had to go back in and do some surgery again," he said.

"That put me back but I really can't wait to play again."

One man who also cannot wait to see Tuqiri back is fellow Fijian flyer Marika Koroibete who is yet to play in the same team as his childhood idol. "He was a hero to me when I was a boy," Koroibete said.

"He has been so helpful to me and comes in at halftime sometimes and gives me advice about the game.

"It is great to have another Fijian here and it will be a special day when we play together."


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