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Thread: Titans hoping to lure Tuqiri

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    Titans hoping to lure Tuqiri

    Righto Gerry, with a mind to the Titans salary cap having freed up due to them losing/missing out on Steve Turner and Brian Carney and WA's Matt Petersen facing season ending surgery, what odds that Lote does a Rogers and quits Union for the Titans before the World Cup?

    Titans hoping to lure Tuqiri

    By Daniel Pace
    January 17, 2007


    GOLD Coast Titans are hoping Lote Tuqiri's close friendship with former Australia teammate Mat Rogers will be enough to convince the damaging wing to join the National Rugby League club following this year's Rugby World Cup.

    Titans managing director Michael Searle said today he expected to hold talks with Tuqiri's business mentor Les Ross next week in a bid to persuade the barnstorming Fijian to follow in the footsteps of Rogers.

    "He's obviously got a relationship with Matty Rogers, which I think would help us," Searle told AAP.

    "I know they still talk a bit so I'm sure that'll come into play.

    "From our point of view I think we've got the capacity to entice him here. We're as good a chance as the next club.

    "I had meetings with him a couple of months ago just on a social level to talk about the opportunities and he was genuinely excited then.

    "I'd just be happy for him to come back to rugby league."

    The loss of classy wings Steve Turner and Brian Carney this week has freed up plenty of room under the salary cap for the Titans to recruit a marquee player such as Tuqiri.

    Turner will stick with Melbourne after a bitter dispute between the Storm and Gold Coast was resolved on Monday night while Great Britain international Carney made a shock decision to quit the game only hours later.

    With at least eight NRL clubs chasing Tuqiri if he decides to leave rugby, the Titans will have a battle on their hands but they're quietly confident.

    Tuqiri has already rejected a massive Australian Rugby Union offer - believed to be $3 million over four years - to stay in the 15-man code after the World Cup in France.

    It indicates that like Rogers, who was granted a release from his $650,000-a-year ARU contract last month, money is not a chief motivating factor for Tuqiri in reaching a decision.

    "Mat Rogers made the tough decision (to come back to rugby league)," pointed out Searle.

    "Having a strike weapon like Lote Tuqiri would be nice."

    Ross said he wanted to have Tuqiri's future sorted by the end of February to help his client prepare for the Super 14 season with NSW Waratahs.

    Meanwhile, Searle said the only contact he'd had with Carney since a press conference to announce the Irishman was heading home was a text message sent last night wishing him well for the future.

    "I had to talk him off the plane on Monday night," revealed Searle.

    "I have no idea where he is."

    In other news, Rogers is expected back at training tomorrow after suffering a minor ankle injury in his first training session for the Titans yesterday.

    Searle said later that day the injury-prone Rogers underwent a cardio-vascular session with trainer Billy Johnstone and walked freely at a team meeting.

    AAP

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