Tuqiri not ready to bow out yet as return looms

Lote Tuqiri will play his first NRL game in over a year when Wests Tigers take on the Sydney Roosters on Monday night and, despite the uncertainty of his future, the veteran declared it will not be his last game.
Nanjing Night Net

The 33-year-old winger has not played for the joint-venture club since breaking his arm against the Bulldogs in round 18 last season. His time away from the field has made him determined not to leave the game quietly.

Tuqiri said on Friday he believes he still has a lot to offer the Tigers and plans to play beyond this season.

He still doesn’t know which club that will be with as his contract with the Tigers is yet to be renewed.

”It’s not going to be my swansong, I’m going to keep playing. Where that will be, I don’t know, but it definitely won’t be my swansong,” Tuqiri said. ”I wanted to go out on my terms. I’ve had a pretty good career but, obviously, the last couple of years have been pretty tough for me injury-wise. I knew I had something to give, something to offer to this footy team. If I didn’t, I would have given up by now.”

The early months after his near career-ending injury tested his willingness to continue playing. Tuqiri admits the prospect of the curtains closing on his playing days was difficult to face.

The thought of hanging up his boots crossed his mind on more than one occasion but the support of his teammates and his two young children gave him the mental strength to return to the field.

”You don’t see a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. You start questioning the motivation and when you get up for training, it’s 7am and it’s really cold, you think you might as well stay home today,” Tuqiri said. ”It’s been pretty dark I must admit. The last month we have not been able to get near the finals but, other than that, the boys have been really good. When I go home its just the same because I’ve got two young boys. You can’t afford to be down. They make it a hell of a lot easier to be around.”

Tuqiri will start on the left wing on Monday night in place of the injured Marika Koroibete.

Meanwhile, the Tigers horrid run of form has detracted the spectacle of Braith Anasta playing against his former team. The veteran player said he was too consumed with changing his club’s fortunes to take notice of a match-up against the Roosters.

After seven seasons with the Tricolours, Anasta will take on his former club for the first time in a competitive match but hasn’t given the occasion much thought due to the stress of the Tigers five-match losing streak

”I can’t really look beyond our backyard here at the moment cos we’re doing it tough and we’re playing the best team in the comp,” Anasta said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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