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Thread: League-union row flares over Tuqiri

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    League-union row flares over Tuqiri

    I have great respect for Wayne Bennett as an exceptional League Coach and appreciate he has a strong "association" (don't think Bennett has "friends"...) with Tuqiri, but he is just point scoring here and really should focus on sorting out the Bronco's season!

    League-union row flares over Tuqiri

    By Peter Jenkins and Robert Craddock
    August 23, 2007


    BRISBANE Broncos coach Wayne Bennett was accused of delivering a blatant job offer to Lote Tuqiri as Australia prepares to leave for the Rugby World Cup in France.
    Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill waded into another cross-code war with the veteran Queensland mentor after Bennett launched his latest attack on the 15-man game.

    A week after claiming the ARU victimised Tuqiri because of his NRL background, Bennett claimed the former Brisbane player had stayed with the Wallabies only for the money.

    He also suggested that $5 million over five years would not buy on-field happiness, and the frustration that has triggered could explain the off-field indiscretions that have culminated in Tuqiri being slapped with a midnight curfew for the Cup.

    "You can't put old heads on young shoulders," Bennett said.

    "It was very hard for him to say no (to a deal of that magnitude). The income is huge. At my age I wouldn't have done it. But at his age you do.

    "You kid yourself you are going to make this work and enjoy it. But at the end of the day it doesn't happen.

    "You have the contract and the money but you are not getting the job satisfaction. That's an issue."

    After sitting alongside Prime Minister John Howard during a farewell function for the Wallabies at Sydney Town Hall yesterday, O'Neill returned fire on Bennett.

    "A critique of the sort Wayne has given, and the timing of it, makes you wonder what sort of agenda is he driving?" O'Neill said. "It sounds like a job offer.

    "He clearly purports to have tremendous insight into Lote's thinking. But his views are of no consequence to us.

    "Wayne's opinions as they relate to rugby league are relevant.

    "His opinions about rugby union are irrelevant.

    "We're here to farewell the Wallabies, to send them off to a proper World Cup, and the focus is on Lote Tuqiri showing everybody in the world what he's got as a rugby player.

    "Lote is a Wallaby and his opportunities to perform on a genuine world stage are immense. That's the only thing anyone should be concentrating on at this stage."

    But Bennett said the Tuqiri body language smacked of playing a game that was clearly a second preference.

    "You've only got to watch Lote play rugby union to know he is frustrated with the game," Bennett added.

    "You can tell by his mannerisms.

    "The most important things these athletes have to be is happy. If they are not happy they have an ability to self-destruct and get themselves into mischief because they are bored and not at peace with themselves.

    "He has so much more to offer but he does not know how to offer it.

    "Perhaps it's him. Perhaps it is the game. I don't know, but he is definitely frustrated. There is no doubt about that."

    According to Bennett, the Wallabies are wasting Tuqiri on the wing.

    "I would just have to get him closer to the action," he said.

    "I cannot believe they are paying that sort of money to have him sit out on the wing."

    Sources claim they expect the dual international to seek a release from his contract if he can secretly source another big-paying employer, possibly in Super League or with a major European rugby union club.

    NRL sides are unlikely to have room under the salary cap to offer Tuqiri anything near the seven figures he will earn annually with New South Wales and Australia until 2012.

    It is also understood that the ARU would not stand in Tuqiri's way if he were to seek a release .

    Tuqiri's season has been mostly forgettable, from the time he was sent home from a pre-season Wallabies training camp for failing to meet fitness standards. He was later stood down for two Tests to fine-tune his speed and, during the Tri-Nations series, copped a two-match ban after failing a breathalyser test.

    His Rugby World Cup curfew, and a last chance warning, came as the result of a night out in Brisbane after a five-day boot camp.

    News Limited newspapers

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    Never had much time for Bennett, even less for tuquiri now....He is soooo gone after world cup, i just hope he performs at the RWC and performs at the peak of his abilities, then buggers off....

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    Your dreaming FR expect more diversions during the Pool games - a big blow up - the rest of the Wallabies lose patience with his antics - and either Cross or Sheps get an emergency flight to France much to the relief of the real Wallabies !

    Then and only then Lote gets a huge paycut and plays league with Wendell and Rogers

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    I hope that doesn't occur, but i may have to agree with you that Lote may go off the rails once more on tour, which will basically see his contract revoked i'd reckon....Wait and see anyway....

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    According to Bennett, the Wallabies are wasting Tuqiri on the wing.

    "I would just have to get him closer to the action," he said.

    "I cannot believe they are paying that sort of money to have him sit out on the wing."


    Unfortunately Tiqiri doesn't have the skills to play closer to the action.
    I can't believe the Wallabies are paying that sort of money for a single dimensional player.

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    And remember that Bennet says he'll be much happier. After all, isn't that why people get involved in elite international sport, to attain personal happiness? Nothing about achievement, goal driven psychology, or drive to attain perfection in a chosen field?

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    Every time Lote has played in #13 he has cocked up and the Wallabies have arguably amongst the best Centers in the World already, why risk that on an unskilled mungo

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