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It's official....

Lote money keeps Tuqiri in union

Greg Growden and Greg Prichard
Monday, March 12, 2007

Wallabies winger Lote Tuqiri has decided to stay in rugby for the next five years after receiving a massive last-minute contract boost by sponsors.

Tuqiri told South Sydney officials shortly before the 5pm deadline that he had decided to remain with the Waratahs and the Wallabies.

Speculation in football circles was the new Tuqiri deal was worth as much as $6 million over five years.

The deal included several lucrative third-party deals, which are understood not to have been finalised until this afternoon.

Tuqiri, and his wife Rebekka met NSW Rugby Union officials at Aussie Stadium this afternoon, before heading to another discussion with South Sydney league officials.

It is understood that the South Sydney offer got as high as $800,000 a year.

"We were just unable to match the offer that was made by rugby union," Souths chief executive Shane Richardson said.

"We gave it our best shot. We're disappointed about missing out. But we did our best, and took it down to the wire."

"The signing is great news for rugby and we're relieved to have it out of the way so Lote and the team can concentrate on the Stormers this weekend," said Fraser Neill, chief executive officer of NSW Rugby.

Tuqiri will be hold a media conference at 2pm tomorrow, just before a Waratahs' training session at Aussie Stadium.

Well, im glad this is all over and i'm glad he decided to stay, it would have been a real shame to lose quality player like Lote back to a dead-end sport like ugly league.

I think he would have been better off signing up with the Reds, he always played well under Eddie and it's obvious that McKenzie hasn't a clue when it comes to getting the best out of his backs(SNK on the bench? :rolleyes: ).... but the Tahs can't afford to lose anymore players atm, so maybe it's best for OZ rugby he stayed.

With this major distraction behind him, hopefully he can pull his finger out and concentrate on playing the type of rugby we all know he's capable of.
that's awesome not only for australian rugby but for rugby in general he's deciding to stay with union as he is a class winger!
great athlete..i dont think the union gives a **** what kind of a person he is..he does the bizzness and with the lack of depth and i mean EXTREME LACK of depth in aussie wingers they needed him for the wc
Not worth 800k a year these days. He is just plain lazy on the field bearly makes any metres and no try scoring machine.

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