The Waratahs and the Wallabies won’t let winger Lote Tuqiri go as quietly as team-mate Mat Rogers, who will resume his relationship with rugby league after the World Cup.
Negotiations have begun to keep the burly winger in the union game. While Rogers made up his mind without consulting authorities, Tuqiri is undecided and wants to talk about his future with the powers that be. At 27, he still has a few more years of international and regional rugby ahead of him.
“Lote is obviously going to be a target of some interest, and he’s a priority for us,” ARU high-performance manager Pat Wilson said. “He’s got another World Cup in him after next year; he has two World Cups in him, and I think you could argue that there are still some things to achieve in the game for Lote.”
Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie compared Rogers and Tuqiri, saying that Rogers is at a different stage of his life where he has other things to consider.
“Lote and Mat are very different personalities,” McKenzie said. “I’m sure Lote will look at all the options and he’ll have lots of people chasing him and he’ll have to make a decision for whatever reasons.
“I think for Mat it was very much a lifestyle decision and looking for a new start, and you can’t challenge that. He’s obviously made the decision, he’s got a young family and he’s looking to do something else and set himself up for life.
“Lote is a bit different. He still has plenty of life left in him as a footballer, so they’re different types of situations.”