News in Brief
Tuqiri gets his boots on again
August 15, 2009
West Harbour's Lote Tuqiri in Shute Shield action against Warringah in Sydney
© Getty Images
- Former Wallabies and Waratahs winger Lote Tuqiri returned to competitive rugby on Saturday for his West Harbour club.
The international outcast, whose contract with the Australian Rugby Union was torn up last month, turned out for the Pirates in their New South Wales Shute Shield clash against Warringah at Pittwater Rugby Park in Sydney.
The dual code international, capped 67 times by the Wallabies, failed to get on the scoresheet but was delighted to get back to playing.
"The competitive juices started going in the second half," Tuqiri told AAP. "I was pretty happy with the game, got a few touches on it and busted a few tackles, so it's good for the confidence.
"Back into footy, I love it mate, and I can't think of anything better to get my mind off things."
The reasons behind his sacking have not been disclosed by the ARU but the Fijian-born speedster, who has been linked with a move back to rugby league, has since launched a legal action against his former employers.
"There's things going on everywhere so I've got to take everything in and wait to see what pans out," he said.
- Wales and Ospreys backrow Jonathan Thomas is contemplating a return to action after a year of injury woe.
The 47-times capped international has had two operations in the past 12 months to remedy a groin injury and related problems that limited him to two regional appearances and one international cap against Italy.
But the injury does at last seem to be righting itself, allowing Thomas to contemplate a start date early in the new season.''All I can say is that from where I have been over the past year, it's feeling the best it has felt,'' he told the South Wales Evening Post. "In the past when I have done a hard fitness session it's reacted and I've felt sore. But now I'm at the stage where I'm running, doing fitness and it's holding up well.
''I don't want to go down the road of saying everything's great and I'm 100 per cent fit, because I need to take things a step at a time.But the plan is to be fit for the second or third game of the season, in mid-September.''
- Magners League champions Munster warmed up for the new season with a 19-17 win over Sale Sharks at Musgrave Park in front of new signing Jean de Villiers on Friday evening.
Both sides were far from full strength as Tony McGahan and Kingsley Jones each had a look at their options. 20 year old full back Scott Deasy was the pick of the bunch in front of a crowd of 6,000 at the Cork venue.
Chris Bell opened the scoring for the Sharks with a 13th minute try but Deasy set Ian Nagle up to level while Jeremy Manning kicked the 2007 European champions in front and two further penalties gave them a 16-7 lead. Nick McLeod crossed the line to narrow the gap before a Charlie Hodgson drop goal had the visitors in front, but Manning kicked a penalty to seal the home win.
Meanwhile Harlequins saw off Connacht with a 15-14 victory at The Stoop thanks to tries from George Lowe and Rory Clegg.