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Tuqiri hopeful of playing with Burgess

Former rugby convert Lote Tuqiri has revealed the chance to play alongside Sam Burgess was one of the main reasons he joined South Sydney.
Tuqiri hopeful of playing with Burgess
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Feb 11 AAP - Former rugby convert Lote Tuqiri has revealed the chance to play alongside Sam Burgess was one of the main reasons he joined South Sydney.

The veteran winger returned to the NRL last month following a short stint with Irish side Leinster after being released by the Wests Tigers at the end of last season.

However, Burgess' career with Souths could be drawing to an end with the outstanding forward being strongly linked with a switch to English rugby in time to play in the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Burgess and the club have remained tight-lipped on the speculation with coach Michael Maguire refusing to comment on Sunday after his side's trial victory over Canterbury at Belmore.

The England international returned to Sydney late on Monday night with his three brothers after attending the funeral of their grandfather in the UK, brushing the waiting media at the airport.

Tuqiri, made the switch to the 15-man game in 2003 from the Brisbane Broncos and went on to play and score in the World Cup final later that year, said he was a huge admirer of Burgess' talents - but admitted he had no idea whether he was staying with the club.

"He is a superstar and one of the reasons I came here to Souths," Tuqiri said.

"I don't what's happening with him so I can't really say too much about rugby, but he is a great player."

Tuqiri played 50 minutes against the Bulldogs and is confident he still had what it takes to play in the NRL despite having played 24 games in three seasons due to a succession of injuries.

The 33-year also believes being part of a side that's likely to be competing at the right end of the table would help rejuvenate his career.

"I wanted to test myself again and go out on my terms," he said.

"Who's to say if it's my last year, but I wanted to play in a good team. They've been so close the last two years and I am here to help any way I can.

"I know I had a fair bit to give and we'll just see how this year goes.

"I'm happy to be under a coach who pushes you hard on and off the field and I am just trying now to get a spot in the 17."




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