Lote Tuqiri and the ARU settle - Green and Gold Rugby

Lote Tuqiri and the ARU settle

Lote Tuqiri and the ARU settle

Following mediation discussions between the parties, an agreed settlement has been reached between Lote Tuqiri and the ARU.

“Tuqiri has agreed to discontinue his proceedings against the ARU and NSWRU,” the ARU said in a statement released late on Monday. As a consequence all court action Tuqiri initiated against the Rugby Union has been withdrawn.

In July the ARU tore up his contract and sacked him for undisclosed reasons stating that Tuqiri had breached the player code of conduct. The reason for his sacking appears set to remain private.

Tuqiri subsequently commenced legal action arguing unfair dismissal but the legal action has now been dropped.

“The parties do not intend to make any further comment” the ARU further stated.

The speculation will be that a financial settlement has been agreed to and Lote will now attempt to resurrect his career elsewhere. It’s thought that he will gain a significant contract playing rugby union in Europe or Japan. It’s probably unlikely that he’d return to the NRL, as they couldn’t afford him.

The circumstances leading up to his sacking were preceded by a series of misdemeanours over recent years.

In August 2007 Tuqiri was issued with a final warning letter after being involved in a late-night drinking session at the Wallabies’ hotel in Brisbane after which one of his drinking companions (a Broncos lower grade player) allegedly assaulted a taxi driver. Lote was on the drink with Matt Dunning and Karmichael Hunt.

He was confined to barracks during the World Cup campaign. There had been a series of incidents involving Tuqiri that had an obvious influence in the ARU’s actions at the time.

In 2005, he was involved in a nightclub incident  in Cape Town which resulted in Matt Henjak being ejected from the Wallaby tour. Tuqiri was given a suspended two-match sentence and fined.

He failed a fitness test at a Wallabies training camp in early 2007 and sent home for remedial work.

Later in 2007 he was banned for two matches  for failing to attend a team medical, and failed a team breath test. He was also fined $20,000.

He’s played 67-Tests for the Wallabies.

Lote Tuqiri – Test Career

DOB: 23.9.79      Height: 191cms       Weight: 103kgs

Super 14: Waratahs 2003 – 2009, 84 caps

Wallaby Tests: 2003 – 2008, 67 caps

Position: Wing/Centre

2003 – Made his Test debut against Ireland in Perth as a replacement. Played in all 14 Tests for the Wallabies that year, scoring five tries.

2004 – Played in all 12 Tests and scored 10 tries (the Wallabies leading try scorer).

2005 – 12 Test appearances totalling 10 tries including a terrific four-try haul against Italy in Melbourne. Selected as an outside centre on the end of season European tour.

2006 – Another 12 Test appearances for the Wallabies. He missed one game in South Africa due to suspension. He played both wing and centre in the end of year tour to Italy, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

2007 – Played in tests against Wales, Fiji and in the Tri-Nations tournament. Attended his second Rugby World Cup, posting the 50th try of his union test career during the quarter-final loss to England.

2008 – Selected in 8 of Australia’s 9 domestic Tests. Only knee surgery prevented him from playing in all the spring tour matches, appearing in the final 2 including scoring Australia’s opening try during the win over the Barbarians at Wembley.

  • mudskipper

    The ARU would only reconcile and pay up to avoid setting a legal precedent… Lote Tuqiri won this one… Furthermore the ARU have split the Wallabies morale by this issue… I don’t believe for one minute the ARU are trying to protect Lote best interests… JON screwed up here, big time… well done gentlemen what’s next?

    The ARU haven’t won anything here… Deans is now short of players with international caps and we need them now…

    “Following mediation discussions between the parties, an agreed settlement has been reached and Mr Tuqiri has agreed to discontinue his proceedings against the ARU and NSWRU,” the ARU said in a statement. “Lote’s very happy with the outcome and now he hopes the clubs are going to start dialling his number,” Tuqiri’s lawyer Mark O’Brien told the Nine Network.

    • James

      deans had no plans to use lote. the only reason he was in the squad was that his contract said so. same with a lot of them.

      • mudskipper

        Nonsense, you don’t know what Deans had in mind for Lote…the Wallabies are now short of experienced backs … Lote is no handicap for any team… and Australian rugby needs more professional players for a 5th province in 2011… ARU CEO over stepped the mark here and the outcome became intractable. So Lote was paid out… I believe Lote has been disadvantage by signing a very good deal with the previous administration which the current administration didn’t wish to honor…

  • D

    I’m glad he’s gone. I thought he was highly overrated.

  • I still rate Tuqiri, there’s a lot of dead weight to clear in the squad before you get to Lote.

    But what would I know, Deans is our savior.
    .-= Sagerian´s last blog ..GoTheTahs Podcast … umm… 17 =-.

  • Gallagher

    Lote was consistently our best backline defender and was no slouch in tackle counts. As to his attack, everyone knows he hasnt had the best ball feeds. Take our current options, not scoring many tries either are they? Schmoo and Lachie havent exactly lit up the field this year either… Hynes Tuquiri and Ioane are(where) our best back three for me, a winger who can kick is an over rated ability.
    I hope to see him back in the near future playing union still, maybe playing for Melbourne/Reds (I wish).

    • stomper

      Rugby isn’t about scoring tries anymore.

  • Tuqiri is still a quality player to have in any side. The wallabies don’t want him anymore because of his disciplinary problems. Fair enough.

    But if the IRB will allow him to play for his country of birth again for the 2011 world cup. What a gain for the small island nation. Tuqiri wearing the white jersey and playing outside centre/wing/full back is just awesome.

    The IRB rule of you can’t play for your country of birth after you’ve played for your adopted country is ridiculous and I guess only those Big Old Farts at IRB headquarters could create such an irrational law as such.

    I feel for the guy but I know he’ll make the right decision and stay with rugby union. His skills and mental toughness is what’s lacking from the wallabies at present on the wings.

    His a hard worker on the field and is always looking for work. Fijians are natural wingers and are the best in the business.

    He still needs to be given a second chance by IRB to play international rugby but for his country of birth. His got so much experience and fitness to play in another world cup.

    But then again, its up to the IRB and Tuqiri himself. What an awesome player. Representing the Kangaroos in the Rugby league world cup and then the Wallabies in the Rugby union world cup.
    One of the best wingers in rugby union and rugby league to ever play in this era.

    • Ed

      Mate the rule is there to stop the developed nations stealing the islanders, argentians and other lesser countries who don’t have the same financial might.

      You choose where you’re allegiance lies, instead of becoming a mercenary the second you’re preferred team doesn’t want you.

      It was a joke the old way

      • What a load of crap, mate. The tier one teams are still poaching the talent from the pacific even with that law in place.

        Those players who are rejected by their tier one nation can only come back to coach their own pacific teams but not play for them.

        You are rattling on about allegiance to a particular country or team is such an understatement. Every professional player would want to support his family and earn enough before hanging up their boots for good.

        The lesser nations can’t compete with that, in financial terms and benefits to the players. The new way is a joke, because in Tuqiri’s situation he won’t be able to play internationals anymore.

        What a waste for a player that can still offer alot to international level playing for his country of birth and maybe later on assisting in the development of the game in the lesser nations.

        My point is the IRB should only allow the player if his not wanted anymore by the tier one nation. In Lote’s case-(Wallabies) don’t want him anymore so he should be allowed to play for his country of birth “ONLY” ( Flying Fijians).

        You see Ed, the new way or the old way, those bigger nations still have the luxury to lure players to play for them. Its the players decision if he wants to earn a decent living for him and his family.

        The lesser nations ( Flying Fijians) would jump at any given opportunity to get a quality player like Tuqiri in their side if his not wanted by your wallabies team.

        • Epi

          Agree 100%

          The law doesn’t help the minnows, it hurts. The pacific islands tried to reach a compromise in 2002-2003 but the IRB didn’t want to know.

          But what else would you expect from the oxygen thieves of the IRB…. Absolutely the most backward sporting body in the world.

      • stomper

        Then the rule should be that you are allowed to play for a smaller nation if you have represented a larger one.

        Otherwise you get the ridiculous situation of players being selected for one match and then never playing again.

        Anyone remember Radike Samo??

        • You should only be allowed to play for your country of birth after you’ve been released by the tier one nation team you’ve been playing for. You should not be allowed to play for any other team.

          A good example is Samo… what a waste. Another issue too, is players who’ve played for their country of birth but want to play for another team example…

          Isa Nacewa who played how many seconds for the Flying fijians in the RWC in Australia, wanted to play for the abs but was denied.

          Once you’ve played for your country of birth, you shouldn’t be allowed to play for any other team.

          Its up to the player to decide what’s his first move will be. If he decides to go and play abroad for the wallabies or any other team for that matter but then in process gets his contract torn up. He should be given a second chance at internationals.

          If his country of birth still wants him back and he accepts then he should be allowed to go play for his country of birth for international duties whilst playing for any club overseas or locally.

  • Epi

    In a way, I hope whatever Lote did was serious because we sure could have used him on Sat night.

    • Manly {RL} Lives Here

      Let me pose you a ‘hypothetical’. We know it is not an offence requiring police involvement – that has been clarified over and over since the settlement. It IS a breach of the CoC – that is clear. Maybe it IS something however that the ARU has no chance of condoning or defending to the public of 2009.

      • Lance Free

        We’ve all heard the rumours but there’s no point speculating as we don’t know for sure. It was clearly in breach of the Code of Conduct from the ARU’s perspective. You’d imagine there’s a ‘confidentiality clause’ in there somewhere so we’re not going to hear about it, at least for some time.

  • Lance Free

    It’s a bit of a shame it had to end this way but that’s life in the professional era. I still rate him to some extent; however, when I look back to that 2003 – 2006 era where he was at his best, he just isn’t a patch on that now. He was pretty dynamic in those days – although there is still a suspicion that he didn’t quite reach his full potential.

    It’s a pity he can’t continue playing Super 14 because we need to retain players of his calibre in that competition. Oh well, let’s just move on…..

  • Lote Fan Always

    What a loss to the rugby union community. Lote was always there for our kids and was a warrior of the game. Bad choice ARU, you will have lost bums on seats and faith in the administration. I agree that he should be allowed to play Super 14, the game needs guys like him. To lose him to another code or overseas is blooming ridiculous. I have met Lote on several occasions and he is a great model for the game. Shame on you, and all the best Lote, you are a class act.

    • mudskipper

      Well said Lote Fan…

  • enough

    A role model? are you kidding me? Lote’s contract was dismissed because he committed adultery. And i know this for a fact. The ARU, unlike other codes of football refuse to turn a blind eye to such acts of misdemeanor. The ARU was approached by the 20 year old girl and her family whom was taken back to Lote’s room. How on earth can the ARU take no action on this. How on earth is this being a role model? The bloke has a family for god’s sake. What is this teaching our young players? that it is alright to be a superstar and sleep with whoever you want? The only moral act here was on behalf of John O’Neil put his own name to speculation when he put the hard word on a player who to be quite honest has had a terrible history of breaching protocol and is terribly out of form.
    There is absolutely no shame on the ARU for terminating Lote’s contract.


Roscoe Tims (aka @LanceFree): A nasty, opinionated little man whose views are indeed narrow with a capital 'N'. Favourite Sport: mungo bashing. Does he ever have anything positive to say?

More in Rugby