Tahu sick of ex-leaguie tag - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tahu sick of ex-leaguie tag

By David Beniuk 14/04/2009 06:43:42 PM Comments (0)

NSW Waratahs back Timana Tahu says he's tired of being tagged an "ex-leaguie" as he prepares to do battle against former NRL rival Ryan Cross.

Tahu will get a rare chance to start for the Waratahs in Saturday's derby with the Western Force at the Sydney Football Stadium when he replaces the injured Rob Horne at outside centre.

He will run on for just the third time in 2009 - and first in the No.13 jersey - and his time on the bench has continually fuelled talk Tahu has been unhappy since switching codes in 2007.

The former Newcastle and Parramatta centre has continually scotched the rumours and said on Tuesday that even the "ex-leaguie" label was growing tiresome.

"Not just by the press but even players in general still call you ex-leaguie and it is irritating," Tahu told reporters.

"I came over here to play rugby and I consider myself as a rugby player, not as a league player.

"You get it all the time but it's just something you've got to shrug off your shoulders."

Asked about the persistent rumours, the 28-year-old said: "I don't even know where that comes from.

"You turn on the radio or the TV and there's something about me going back to league or I'm not happy.

"I'm happy being at the Waratahs and I'm happy playing rugby.

"Last year was a challenge for me and this year I feel comfortable playing in rugby."

Perhaps even more comfortable starting against Force outside centre and former Sydney Rooster Cross.

"It's coincidence probably, both league players and matching up against each other but there's going to be match-ups all around the park," he said.

"There are Wallaby jumpers probably up for grabs and I think a lot of boys will be trying to tear into each other.

"We played opposite sides (in league) so I was just watching him from the other side."

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is happy with Tahu's development, despite his limited game-time, since blooding him as a raw Test inside centre last year.

"It's not a big deal. You see a lot, even in the limited time that he's had, you see a lot at training," Deans told reporters.

"Obviously from his perspective it would be good to get more rugby, I'm sure he would like more rugby."

Tahu had emerged on Tuesday from a longer than expected Waratahs team meeting conducted by the side's leadership group.

One of its results was an immediate ball-skills session in light of the side's poor handling, something Tahu has been criticised for in last Saturday's loss to the Bulls.

"I just play my game which is if I can offload, if there's an opportunity, I'll do it and if I make a mistake then that's my fault, I've got to live with it," Tahu said.

"I'm not going to try and change my game but if it has to be that I've got to not try and push passes then I won't."

Captain Phil Waugh said of the unusual meeting: "We were just touching on how important this game is ... We feel like we're not making the most of our opportunities and as a result putting ourselves under pressure."

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