Player Zone - Lote Tuqiri

Age: 25
Date of Birth: September 23, 1979
Height: 190cm (1.9m)
Weight: 100kg
First Grade Games: 99
Tries: 56
Goals: 18
Field Goals: 0
Points: 260

At the start of the 1999 season, Allan Langer named Lote Tuqiri as the rising star to watch for the Brisbane Broncos. It was anticipated he'd get a run later in the season as injuries and representative games traditionally test the Broncos depth.

However, his chance came much earlier than anticipated when the Broncos suffered an horrendous injury toll in Round 1 against Canberra. Tuqiri came into the side for the game against Cronulla and had a forgettable debut.

He bounced back when he returned to the side in the game against Balmain, and has not looked back. A winger with great strength, speed and talent, Tuqiri will be at the cornerstone of the Broncos side into the new millennium.

Tuqiri continued to grow later in the season and was pivotal to the Broncos' making the finals against the odds.

From a player with potential at the end of 1999, Tuqiri became a fast rising star by the end of 2000. With Wendell Sailor he was the premiers' leading tryscorer with 18 and showed skills Sailor himself could only dream about. Tuqiri's two kick and regather tries in each of the clashes against Northern Eagles were simply breathtaking. His poise and security retrieving kicks, both high and low, was a vast improvement on his debut season.

Tuqiri went on to captain Fiji in the World Cup, and he carried them through the tournament. Despite being soundly beaten by Australia and England, Tuqiri was inspirational. He scored one try himself and set up the other as Fiji surprised Australia with their tenacity.

The sky's the limit for this incredible talent, and 2001 could well see Tuqiri rise to the highest level.

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