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Tahu, Tuqiri to clash on Friday
By Josh Jerga AAP Mon, 22 Mar 2010 18:43:16
When two of the biggest names in the NRL defected to rugby union, fans were livid about this apparent act of betrayal.
Just weeks after returning to the game, Timana Tahu and Lote Tuqiri are well on the road to rugby league redemption.
On Friday night the former NSW Waratah teammates will face off for the first time since they walked back through the NRL doors, when the Parramatta Eels meet the Wests Tigers.
Despite most probably playing on opposite sides of the field, Tahu is relishing the opportunity to line-up against his old friend.
“We played a little bit back in our younger days in the NRL and Lote’s a nice bloke and a professional athlete,” Tahu said.
"It will be good to have him back on the field.
“He’s known all over the world so to have him back in the NRL, it’s a good thing for the game.”
Tuqiri has scored in both his first two games since returning to rugby league and will no doubt be looking to make it a hat-trick on Friday night.
His form has caught Tahu’s attention who speculated he might be taking over the spot of West Tigers’ 2009 top try scorer Taniela Tuiaki.
Even more impressive was Tuqiri’s effort to back-up for his first game from a long-haul UK flight only five days earlier.
“For him to come over from England and then play in that Monday night game, that was a big thing,” Tahu said.
“That’s just Lote. He always wants to be in the mix of stuff.”
While Tuqiri was controversially shown the door by the ARU in mid 2009, Tahu left on his own terms after becoming disenchanted with rugby union due a lack of opportunities with the Waratahs and the Wallabies.
Both represented the Wallabies and played together at the NSW Waratahs and Sydney rugby side West Harbour.