HE exploded back on to the NRL stage last season with a try from his first touch following seven years in rugby union. But after sweating through a pre-season that he didn’t have with Wests Tigers last year, the message from Lote Tuqiri is loud and clear: “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
The 31-year-old made his debut for the Tigers in round one last year just five days after arriving from England. He’d barely had a training run with his new teammates.
A Kangaroos recall capped off a stunningly successful comeback but Tuqiri insists he will only get better this year.
“I’ve trained really hard and just getting the structures right and the calls right [will make a difference], rather than coming in cold like last year,” Tuqiri said.
Tuqiri, contracted with the Tigers until the end of 2012, is feeling as fit and fast as ever.
His confidence is also high after his solid trial form. Tuqiri doesn’t know if his seven years in rugby helped to preserved him but he does know he’s as hungry as ever.
“People [ask] ‘are you right’, but I still feel as vibrant and wanting to play footy as I ever have,” he said.
“Last year I was reborn, in a sense, when I came back and played rugby league. I feel great. The body’s not slowing down at all. I think the sky’s the limit.”
Tuqiri said the Tigers had more self-belief this year.
And he’s adamant the club can win the premiership.
“Definitely [we can win it],” he said. “You always want to improve every year and I think we’ve got the squad here to win.”