Tuqiri not convinced with Tahu at No.12 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tuqiri not convinced with Tahu at No.12

By Darren Walton 23/06/2008 04:17:51 PM Comments (0)

Lote Tuqiri believes it's inevitable that fellow former rugby league star Timana Tahu will become a dual international - but not necessarily as an inside centre for the Wallabies.

Tahu declared No.12 his preferred position after terrorising Tonga in Australia A's 90-7 romp at North Sydney on Sunday, while Wallabies coach Robbie Deans also indicated inside centre might be the best place for the versatile backline recruit.

But while admitting Tahu "killed them" from the midfield, Tuqiri said he would reserve judgement until after seeing how his NSW Waratahs teammate -- who is also being considered as a winger or outside centre -- coped at No.12 against superior opposition.

"It was pretty loose yesterday," Tuqiri said.

"He played alright there against the Japanese as well. (But), with tighter defences, you just don't know because 12 does not necessarily have that sort of time to play.

"We will see how (he goes) in the next few weeks against Fiji and the Maoris obviously, and then re-assess from there.

"But you can only play what it's front of you and he's pulled up pretty well. Yeah, he killed them ... he certainly showed his class.

"He will certainly be tested next week against the Fijians in Brisbane but, if he keeps improving the way he has, it shouldn't be too long, hopefully for him, that there'll be Test honours.

"That's up to Robbie and the selectors, I guess, but he is certainly putting his best foot forward."

In a truly dominant display, Tahu scored one try against the Tongans and had a hand in six others.

"The crowd were pretty happy with how he went," Tuqiri said.

"Every time he touched the ball, the crowd were pretty pumped because he was breaking a tackle or using dynamic footwork to get around players. He is certainly on the way up."

Tuqiri said it had been merely a matter of time before Tahu showed his class after a frustrating Super 14 season in which the 28-year-old started just three games before being sidelined for two months with a hamstring injury.

"It was just tough for him," Tuqiri said.

"Seeing as the Super 14 is a bit of a sprint, he has obviously been injured in the last few years and, when he gets injured, it's a four-week minimum and that's a bloody quarter of your games gone.

"It was frustrating in that sense, and the fact that Robbie Horne and Tommy Carter were playing alright and we were going alright on the field, you don't want to make too many changes in Super 14 if you're going well.

"He just had to get used to that. I think he handled it pretty well. He has put his best foot forward with the Aussie A team."

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