Tuqiri's hopes in balance - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tuqiri's hopes in balance

By Melissa Woods 13/07/2003 07:10:22 PM Comments (0)

Winger Lote Tuqiri's golden opportunity to claim a first Wallabies starting role hangs in the balance after a judiciary hearing in Cape Town.

Tuqiri stands a good chance of being promoted from the bench after Joe Roff suffered a rib cartilage in Saturday's 26-22 rugby Test loss to South Africa which will keep him out of the July 26 Tri-nations clash with New Zealand in Sydney.

However, he must first gain a clearance from an Australian Rugby Union tribunal after he was handed an "off-field yellow card" for punching Springboks prop Rob Kempson by Sunday's SANZAR judiciary hearing chaired by New Zealand's Bruce Squire.

Tuqiri would have escaped suspension however, because it was his third yellow card of the year, he must now face the ARU.

The hearing's expected to be held this week in Sydney, where a three-man panel will scrutinise the yellow cards, before deciding whether Tuqiri should be further penalised.

The former rugby league international was sin-binned in the second round of the Super 12, against the Cats for a high tackle, and in third round against the Sharks on a touch judge report.

"I got a fair hearing and that's all I could ask for," Tuqiri said of Sunday's hearing.

"I'll just have to wait and see what happens when I get home."

Tuqiri said Kempson was holding on to his feet as he was attempting to get back into position.

"The bloke wouldn't let my legs go and I had to do something."

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