The Roar
The Roar


Why I don't have a whole Lote love for Tuqiri signing

Lote Tuqiri will be back in action for the Tahs at the Tens. (AAP Image/Action Photographic, Renee McKay)
21st January, 2014
3617 Reads

Here is a question that needs an answer: Does South Sydney want to play Lote or Lotto in season 2014?

This week’s announcement that veteran winger Lote Tuqiri had been signed on by the Rabbitohs beggars belief. Surely this is some cruel joke, a media gee-up that will be laughed down in the weeks ahead.

This man is 34 years old. He is a walking (hobbling?) advertisement for any health care or pensioner fund and from where I sit, there is nothing he can add to a Rabbitohs’ team supposedly mounting a challenge for premiership glory.

Just what was head coach Michael Maguire thinking when Lote’s name was mentioned as a possible recruit?

Was his mind made up by a higher power? Is there a touch of Hollywood and a Rusty Crowe fingerprint on this?

Perhaps Madge was shown a tape of Tuqiri’s blitz season of 2010 when he returned from rugby union to score 18 tries in 27 games for the Wests Tigers.

Terrific season for sure but that was three and a bit years ago and Lote has done precious little since then due to a spate of major injuries and, it must be said, the loss of speed that comes with age.
I read the Tuqiri signing story and thought the newspaper was taking the snake’s hiss.

South Sydney, of all clubs, do not need a veteran out on the wing, even if he is playing for match payments only or even less.

I believe the Rabbits have many pieces of the premiership puzzle in place and to me, the last thing they need is an old fogey out on the flank not capitalising on the brilliant lead-up work from the inside backs.


There are any number of exciting young wingers in the South Sydney system – right now or in the immediate future – who might be denied an opportunity to shine if Tuqiri is handed the two or five jumper.

In my view, this signing of an ageing, injury-plagued outside back is dumb and retrogressive.

Every season, Souths play their part in the Charity Shield to help out hospitals but this is a charity they can ill afford.

They say charity begins at home. For heaven’s sake Rabbitohs, if you must, look for wingers in your own back yard.

Your premiership-starved club needs a new hero, not yesterday’s . . .