Tuqiri back for Tigers opener

West Tigers’ big name recruit Lote Tuqiri will be back in time for the club’s opening round clash with Manly on March 15.

He will join his new team mates next week after the club negotiated an early release from Tuqiri’s contract with Rugby Union side Leicester Tigers.

Wests Tigers CEO Stephen Humphreys confirmed the news after speaking with Leicester officials overnight.

“Lote will return home to Australia with his family after Leicester’s match against London Irish this weekend. It is terrific news and a real bonus for us on the eve of the 2010 season,’’ Humphreys said.

“I greatly appreciate Leicester’s co-operation in making it possible.”

Head Coach Tim Sheens is delighted with the confirmation of Tuqiri’s early arrival.

“Lote’s arrival will give the team a real lift as we prepare for Manly,’’ Sheens said.

“We will monitor his condition but as long as he comes through the weekend’s game injury free and recovers well from his flight, I would expect he would be involved in the round one match.”

A dual international, Tuqiri has signed with the Wests Tigers for three years.

His first match for Wests Tigers will also be his 100th NRL game.

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