Lote's return is really so strange - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lote's return is really so strange

By David Beniuk 01/07/2010 06:28:22 PM Comments (0)

Lote Tuqiri hopes Brisbane fans have "a bit of love" left for him when he returns to Suncorp Stadium as an NRL player for the first time in more than seven years.

Tuqiri's long and winding road will finally lead him to the door of his former club on Friday night when his Wests Tigers meet the Broncos.

Test matches for the Wallabies and Super rugby games for the Waratahs at Suncorp were one thing, but playing against the jersey he wore from 1999-2002 will be more than a little strange.

"We just did the video session then and it was a bit weird having played in that jersey before," the 30-year-old told reporters on Thursday.

"But what do you do? You just get on and do what we're trying to do here at the moment.

"When you do think about it, it's very weird."

Tuqiri jumped codes in 2003, playing 67 Tests for the Wallabies before his contract with the Australian Rugby Union was abruptly terminated for an unspecified breach of team discipline.

He returned to the NRL this year on a three-year deal with the Tigers.

The dual international admitted he had circled the match when he first looked at the Tigers' draw for 2010, but he is unsure what sort of reception he will get.

"Hopefully Brisbane's still got a bit of love for me but we'll see once I run out and do the warm-up," he said.

"We've just got to bounce back from (a 34-10 loss to St George Illawarra) last week ... I'm more concerned about that and hopefully getting a win on the board."

Tuqiri won a premiership with the Broncos in 2000 and said the club's winning culture was still on display a decade later.

"You know with Brisbane they're going to turn up no matter what," he said.

"They've got a good culture up there and a good team ethos.

"Their young blokes are really stepping up ... they had a good performance against Souths up there last time when their players were out (on State of Origin duty)."

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