x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

That's your lot for Tuqiri

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has terminated the contract of winger Lote Tuqiri, effective immediately.

Lote Tuqiri in action for Australia against South Africa in Sydney in 2005. Today the ARU terminated his contract.
Lote Tuqiri in action for Australia against South Africa in Sydney in 2005. Today the ARU terminated his contract.

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has terminated the contract of winger Lote Tuqiri, effective immediately. The ARU did not clarify the reasons for their decision to strip the rugby league convert of his contract because "it may be the subject of legal proceedings". Tuqiri has been out of favour with the Wallabies coach Robbie Deans this season, he was not selected in any of their four internationals leading into the Tri-Nations, despite the coach admitting he is looking to improve the depth to his squad. Tuqiri, who scored Australia's only try in their 2003 World Cup final defeat to England, had a contract with the ARU until 2012 and was one of the highest-paid players on their books. The ARU had been conducting an investigation into a possible breach of the players' code of conduct by the New South Wales Waratahs winger, although a statement did not reveal whether today's decision was a result of that process. "The employment contract of Lote Tuqiri has been terminated effective today," an ARU statement read. "ARU has treated this issue as a standard employment matter. "The ARU will not make any further comment on the matter as it may be the subject of legal proceedings." Tuqiri made 67 appearances for the Wallabies but had not played since their victory over the Barbarians at Wembley last December. The 29 year old was overlooked for the season-opening match against the Baa Baas in Sydney last month, but the writing was on the wall for his career when he was also not used in the two-Test series against Italy ? when Deans rotated most of his squad. Born in Fiji he played 99 games for the Brisbane Broncos in the Australian Rugby League before converting to rugby union in 2003 and earning an almost immediate call-up to the Wallabies squad for the World Cup on their home turf. *PA Sport