Reds rule out Tuqiri swoop

Lote Tuqiri's future in rugby is under a further cloud after the Queensland Reds ruled themselves out of signing the star winger for the 2007 Super 14 season. [more]

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Lote Tuqiri’s future in rugby is under a further cloud after the Queensland Reds ruled themselves out of signing the star winger for the 2007 Super 14 season.

The 27-year-old last week rejected a $750,000 a season offer from the Australian Rugby Union, and Queensland Reds general manager Alex Pope believes that Tuqiri’s asking price is too high.

"That figure has been inflated and I can’t think of many (clubs or provinces) who would pay him that sort of money," Pope told The Courier Mail.

While the dual international has been linked to many Australian Super 14 and league clubs, Tuqiri is seeking a contract worth over $1,000,000 a year which has many clubs looking elsewhere for players.

Reds youngster Berrick Barnes and prop Ben Coutts were included in the Wallabies training squad for the World Cup, and Pope says developing his improving squad was the number one priority for head coach Eddie Jones.

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"We think we’ve got a squad with enormous potential and we need to assess how our players mature and perform," he said.

"Only then will we be able to make a decision on Lote."

With the star currently holidaying in Queensland it was reported that Tuqiri was to hold talks with both the Reds and his former rugby league team, the Brisbane Broncos, but it appears that the Broncos will be priced out of the market too, with salary cap restraints a major hurdle.

Tuqiri sprung on to the rugby league scene with the Broncos as a teenager in the late 1990s, before moving to rugby in 2003.

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