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 As a consequence all court action Tuqiri initiated against the Rugby Union has been withdrawn.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
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.