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Lote Tuqiri joins Leicester Tigers

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Defending Guinness Premiership champions Leicester Tigers have confirmed the signing of Australia international wing Lote Tuqiri.

The 30-year-old dual-code international will begin training with his new colleagues this week.

Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill said: “To have someone of Lote’s undoubted class available and interested in coming to Leicester is excellent news.

“Lote had interest from a lot of clubs around Europe, and the fact that he chose to come here says a lot about him. We’re very happy he has chosen Leicester Tigers.

“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.

“He 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.”

Originally a rugby league star with Brisbane Broncos, the Fiji-born Tuqiri switched to the 15-man code 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 Rugby World Cup Final against England.

Tuqiri said: “I’ve played in England a number of times, in league and union, and I’m looking forward to getting to work at Leicester Tigers.

“This is a successful club, and that is one of the main reasons for coming here.

“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.”