Tuqiri To Join Legends At Coral Coast Sevens

Tuqiri To Join Legends At Coral Coast Sevens

Dual international Lote Tuqiri is soon to be added to the Rugbytown Walk of Fame in Sigatoka. 

The 36-year old, who grew up in the nearby village of Namatakula, will accept the accolade during the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens in January. 

"Being asked to join several legends of the game on the Walk of Fame is a real honour," said Tuqiri who played at the highest level for more than 15 years.  "Coming from the Coral Coast it is always nice to visit home and I look forward to seeing friends and family at the tournament in January."

Waisale Serevi, David Campese, Jonah Lomu, Ben Gollings, Viliame Satala and Karl te Nana are the other names on the Walk of Fame, a Hollywood-style series of plaques on the main street of Sigatoka.

"We are thrilled to add one of the Coral Coast's famous sons to the Walk of Fame," said Jay Whyte, Founding Chairman of the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens.  "Lote has achieved so much in his career in both rugby union and rugby league and is an inspiration to the youngsters of his village and in fact to all the people of Fiji."

Tuqiri moved to Australia in his teens and joined the Brisbane Broncos as an 18-year old.  After representing Fiji at the 2000 rugby league World Cup, he played for Queensland and Australia before switching to the Waratahs in 2002, playing in 67 Tests for the Wallabies.

The winger played in two Rugby World Cups, scoring in the final against England in 2003, and also at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games rugby sevens with fellow Wallabies Scott Fava, Matt Giteau and Chris Latham.

"The Commonwealth Games was a special time in my career as sevens offered me so much space to attack," added Tuqiri.  "It is a game that rugby players of all backgrounds can enjoy and really suits the Fijian flair.

 "The growth of the game has been fantastic during the last ten to fifteen years and I am really looking forward to seeing sevens in the Olympic Games in Rio next year." 

Tuqiri's wife and three children will accompany the local hero as guests of the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens organising committee.

Meanwhile Namatakula, about 30 minutes from Sigatoka and also the home of current Wallaby centre Tevita Kuridrani, Noa Nadruku and Nemani Nadoloi, will be represented in the tournament by Coastal Ratu Filise. 

Sixteen men’s and sixteen women’s teams will participate in the sixth Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens on 14-16 January 2016.