Lote dreamed of playing for Sheens Stuart Honeysett From: The Australian March 11, 2010 12:00AM
LOTE Tuqiri yesterday revealed a lifelong dream to play under Tim Sheens was one of the reasons he joined Wests Tigers.
Tuqiri hails from the same Fijian village, Namatakula, as former Canberra winger Noa Nadruku and he said he had grown up watching the Raiders play under Sheens.
Although he didn’t consult Nadruku – who he is related to – he did speak to other Green Machine stars from that era, including Laurie Daley.
“I remember watching those late '80s, early '90s teams and I think all the kids growing up in that era – that was their favourite team,” Tuqiri said.
"Tim Sheens’s name first and foremost carries a fair bit of weight and he’s done it all.
"I only met him last year for the first time and he seems like a great bloke.
“He loves his league, loves his footy and likes backing his players and the way they want to play.”
Daley wasn’t the only player Tuqiri consulted.
He also spoke to his former Brisbane Broncos premiership-winning teammate Wendell Sailor about his own return to the NRL in 2008.
After serving a two-year drugs suspension which ended his rugby union career, Sailor spent nearly two seasons at St George Illawarra before retiring at the end of last year.
“He reckons it’s a young man’s game and you’ve got to be fit to play it,” Tuqiri said.
"It’s very fast, and it was certainly faster than what he remembered obviously with the two referees, and everything else like quick play-the-balls and getting up off the ground and this, that and the other.
"But in the same sentence he said he was out of the game for 2 1/2 years so he hadn’t done much when he played.
“We’ll see how I go when I do get a run.”
Tuqiri said he was a fan of the way the Tigers played the game and he was looking forward to contributing to a team that already boasts plenty of strikepower in hooker Robbie Farah, five-eighth Benji Marshall and centre Chris Lawrence.
“Just the thought of coming back blew my mind and thinking about playing in the style the Tigers do play was a big thing for me,” Tuqiri said. "At times in the last few years I haven’t enjoyed myself as much as I probably could have but that’s in the past.
“I would like to play in an enjoyable team and I think playing on the end of a backline that has the likes and the spark they do provide will be awesome.”
Mind you, Tuqiri might want to do a little more homework if he makes his return as expected in Monday night’s game against Manly at the Sydney Football Stadium.
When informed of the Sea Eagles plans to target him and test him out for any ring rust, he showed it has been a long seven years since he last played rugby league.
“Who are their wingers?” he asked.
I dont know how you havent been banned Geo,all you do is bait people.
I learnt every thing I know from you……
Farah’s selfishness is probably the reason he sticks around…
Simple solution for you simon…Add “foe”…You’ll never have to read my drivel again…
Geo, from my very limited time here you’re a good laugh. But if Sheensy leads us into the top 8 this year, will you eat your words? IMO 2010 is the year that Teflon earns his stripes for good …