Tuqiri tickled pink by Kangaroos selection - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tuqiri tickled pink by Kangaroos selection

James Dampney 21/10/2010 05:15:35 PM Comments (0)

Lote Tuqiri has played in World Cups in two codes, contested State of Origin deciders and tasted NRL premiership success during his 11 years as a professional footballer.

But the veteran winger still found himself in a "dream state" when his name was read out in Australia's starting line-up for Sunday's Four Nations match against Papua New Guinea.

The selection means the 31-year-old is the first player to earn selection as a Kangaroo, then a Wallaby, before returning to rugby league's international stage with Australia.

Only called into the squad this week as a late replacement for Jarryd Hayne, Tuqiri was in a daze when he heard his name called.

"I didn't know what to think," he told reporters ahead of training in Sydney on Thursday.

"I was sitting in the back of the team room yesterday when the team was getting announced.

"He read out Slater, Morris, Tate, Tonga, Lote ... and then I don't know what he said after that because I was kind of spinning.

"I honestly thought I may have been here for the next month picking up bags, being an emu, maybe getting a run if someone else went down.

"But now I've just got to perform.

"I was in a dream state when the team got announced and didn't know what the rest of the team was until I got out to training.

"I can't believe it."

Clive Churchill medallist Darius Boyd was expected to fill the spot on the wing, but has been left out altogether for the Parramatta Stadium clash by coach Tim Sheens.

Tuqiri only had a brief chat with Boyd after the announcement and is certain the Dragons star will get his chance during the series.

"I just said to him 'mate, hard luck'. That was about it," Tuqiri said.

"Then we just got onto training. Everyone's professional here.

"I don't know him in-depth. I've met him in passing before. He seems like a cruisy sort of a bloke, he's great.

"The thing is I think everyone's going to get a crack at some point.

"It's very competitive and I think everyone will get a game."

Selection in the starting side caps an impressive comeback by Tuqiri, who 10 months ago was playing club rugby with Leicester in England.

"It's been a great year for myself and keeps on getting better," he said.

"I've got to keep doing my job and not letting the team down and hopefully stay where I am."

Tuqiri, who has also captained Fiji at a rugby league World Cup during a remarkable career, admitted good mate Wendell Sailor had been leaving messages following his selection.

Sailor himself had hoped to become the first 'triple international', but fell short before retiring last year.

"I haven't checked his messages yet but he's left a few," Tuqiri said.

"I've got him. There's no way he can come back, so that's a good thing."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news