Sport Rugby

Friday 23 February 2018

Leinster refuse to rule out signing Aussie star Lote Tuqiri

Lote Tuqiri
Lote Tuqiri
Conor George

Conor George

LEINSTER assistant coach Richie Murphy today did nothing to dispel the conjecture linking former Australian international Lote Tuqiri with the three times Heineken Cup champions.

Tuquiri, who won 67 caps with Australia, started his professional career in Rugby League with the Brisbane Broncos before joining the Waratahs. He also played one season (2009-10) with Leicester Tigers in the Premiership.

Speculation has been mounting in recent days that he might be signed on a short-term contract by Leinster. The reigning Amlin Challenge Cup champions have one overseas spot on their roster free at present.

“We are a little short in some areas,” said Murphy. “Fionn Carr (Connacht) and Andrew Conway (Munster) both left and we lost Eoin O’Malley to injury.

“We have some young players coming through but are a little short in those outside channels and even a little bit wider.

“We are looking at players. Something has obviously been said about Tuqiri coming back from League and playing Union.

“We’re looking at numerous options from around that area. He’s not ruled out but he’s definitely not ruled in either,” added Murphy.

Leinster open their Celtic League campaign away to Scarlets on Friday night and are expected to welcome back a number of their international players for the game.

“Everyone came through Friday’s game against Northampton unscathed,” said Murphy.

“Kevin McLaughlin, Devin Toner, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald and Fergus McFadden are all back available and could come in this weekend.”

Michael Bent is not available after sustaining nerve damage in his neck during training last week and might not be available for a couple of weeks.

“Michael took a knock in training. The only information we have is that he has a nerve problem and don’t know how long he’ll be out for,” Murphy added.

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