Lam weighs up move to bring Tuqiri out west
Connacht coach Pat Lam has expressed an interest in bringing Australian dual- code player Lote Tuqiri to the Sportsground, WRITES JOHN FALLON.
Tuqiri's three-month loan spell with Leinster ended at the weekend and Lam said he would look at signing him after yesterday suffering another blow when winger Danie Poolman was ruled out until March.
Connacht had expected the South African to be back in a matter of weeks from a knee injury, but his loss has compounded Lam's options after Samoan international James So'oialo was released just a month into his contract on compassionate grounds in October.
Tuqiri (above) made five appearances during his spell with Leinster, scoring a try against Treviso, and the former dual Australian international is a possible target for Connacht, who have lost their last eight league games.
"We will go back and look at our budgets and see what we can afford and whether Lote is an option for us and if he is available – they are all the questions that come into it," said Lam.
"We are interested but we have to go through the process. One side of it is the player, the next is availability and the next is affordability. It all depends on how fit he is and all the other factors."
The Connacht boss is trying to lift his side after the demoralising 42-10 loss away to Edinburgh on Friday night for Sunday's daunting Heineken Cup trip to Toulouse.
Preparations for the clash with the four-time European champions have suffered another blow with prop Ronan Loughney ruled out for the next four weeks with a fractured eye socket.
Lam is also concerned about an ankle injury picked up by Irish international Robbie Henshaw, while lock Aly Muldowney suffered a shoulder injury and is doubtful. Another lock, Andrew Browne, suffered a wrist injury playing for Galwegians on his first match back from a hamstring injury.