Tuqiri eyes league return

Australia winger Lote Tuqiri is considering following Wallabies team-mate Mat Rogers back to rugby league, according to reports. [more]

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Australia winger Lote Tuqiri is considering following Wallabies team-mate Mat Rogers back to rugby league, according to reports.

Fly-half Rogers put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Titans on Wednesday, four years after switching codes to union.

And Gold Coast managing director Michael Searle has now revealed the club has also held talks with Tuqiri.

"We had been talking to Lote at the same time as we had been talking to Mat," Searle said.

"Lote is certainly interested in coming back to league. I’ve got no doubt the circumstances will be right for him after next year.

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"But we knew we only had a spot open for one more marquee player and we wanted to arrange something sooner rather than later.

"Lote wanted to give it another six to 12 months before he confirmed anything, and that was too difficult for us."

Tuqiri, who is contracted by the Australian Rugby Union until the end of 2007 and is aiming to be a part of the Wallabies World Cup team next year, has himself refused to rule out a move back to his original code.

"I’m not going to say, ‘No, I wouldn’t like to play it again’," Tuqiri told Channel Nine.

"League is always going to be in my blood. It’s the first game I played. There will always be a passion there. So, probably, yes, I would like to play it again."

Tuqiri first came to fame as a league player with the Brisbane Broncos, where he formed a devastating wing combination with fellow union convert Wendell Sailor.

Tuqiri played 99 games for Brisbane, scoring 250 points, and made his debut for the Kangaroos in 2001 against New Zealand before switching codes in 2002.

The signing of Rogers, and Tuqiri’s comments on a possible return to rugby league, has thrilled National Rugby League boss David Gallop, who has been fighting a player drain to rugby union where no salary caps exist.

"I think footballers are looking at the NRL and our representative program and thinking that it’s the ultimate testing ground," Gallop said.

"If you can cut it in league you’re certainly cutting it in the toughest environment."

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