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Tigers complete deal for Tuqiri

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Tuqiri warms to life at Leicester

Leicester Tigers have completed the signing of Australia dual-code international winger Lote Tuqiri.

Tuqiri, 30, had his contract with the Australian Rugby Union cancelled in July, although the details were not revealed for legal reasons.

Since then, Tuqiri, who has signed a short-term deal at Welford Road, has played for Sydney side West Harbour.

Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill said: "He is a world-class player and is still hungry to achieve things."

Tuqiri, who will start training with his new team-mates this week, is expected to return to play rugby league in Australia with Wests Tigers in 2010 when his Leicester deal ends.

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But Cockerill was thrilled to bring the powerful wing to the club at a time when the Tigers squad is being stretched to its limit by injuries.

"Lote has had interest from a lot of clubs around Europe," Cockerill said.

"To have someone of Lote's undoubted class available and interested in coming to Leicester is excellent news.

"He has been very successful at the top levels of the game and I'm sure our supporters are looking forward to seeing him in a Tigers shirt.

"Lote is a world-class player and is still hungry to achieve things in the game.

"Now we're looking forward to getting him into training and competing for a place in the team."

Fiji-born Tuqiri, who was also strongly linked with a move to Welsh side Ospreys, switched to rugby union in 2002 and played his Super 14 rugby in New South Wales with the Waratahs.

He has appeared in 67 Tests for Australia, scoring 31 tries - including one in the 2003 World Cup final against England.

Tuqiri said: "The club is always in the frame to win things and I still think I have a lot to achieve in rugby. I still have the ambition to play at the highest level and I still have the competitive edge.

"This is a new challenge, coming to a new league in a new country, and it is one I am really looking forward to. There are a lot of good players here and now I'm just looking forward to getting started."



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