Sheens hints he might wing it on Tuqiri - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheens hints he might wing it on Tuqiri

By Ben Horne 05/02/2010 01:51:30 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens is undecided on which position to play star recruit Lote Tuqiri, but concedes starting him on the wing would be a "common-sense approach".

The dual international has played on the flanks for the entirety of his career in both codes, but it's been speculated that the Tigers would prefer to use him as a fullback when he makes his NRL return in the early rounds of the season.

Sheens wasn't prepared to predict anything, but said a stint on the wing would seem logical as Tuqiri hasn't played league since 2002.

"That's a common-sense approach from him because you've got a new team and new play calls," Sheens told AAP.

"In our game you can play rugby or rugby league and be a finisher without a problem.

"I think if Queensland look at him at the middle of the year at State of Origin level they'll look at him as a winger, so it won't hurt him to start there, but in saying that I'm not predicting it."

The experienced premiership-winning coach said wing, fullback and centre were all possibilities for Tuqiri, who ended months of anticipation by officially signing with the Tigers on Thursday.

Part of the reason for Sheens' uncertainty is not knowing exactly when Tuqiri will be free to pull on the black, white and gold.

The Tigers aren't banking on the Fijian-born star being back for round one, believing a debut around week four is more probable.

"Obviously wing is his normal position, but fullback and centre are other options in our game for him," said Sheens.

"It depends on how we're travelling when he gets here and how quickly then he settles in. I'll be sending him information and videos and so on of us, and a lot more information now that things have been done.

"We'll just have to wait and see on the time-frame, because it could be as many as four games. You're talking about four games and then possibly his travel and his settling back in at home, getting his legs again and getting training.

"He could miss five or six games by the time he's read to play. You're not just going to fly him in on Wednesday and play him on Saturday."

One aspect of the Tigers backline that seems certain heading into the new season, is that young gun Tim Moltzen will start the year at fullback, if Tuqiri is absent.

However, Moltzen has shown plenty of promise in the No.7 jersey as a halves partner for Benji Marshall, and Sheens has made it clear he wants to settle the Central Coast junior down in one position.

The 2009 Dally M winger of the year Taniela Tuiaki is still battling a leg injury.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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