WESTS TIGERS SIGN LOTE TUQIRI FOR THREE YEARS Thursday, 4 February 2010 Wests Tigers has secured the services of dual international Lote Tuqiri for the next three seasons. In one of the biggest signings in its 11-year-history, Wests Tigers CEO Stephen Humphreys secured TuqiriÃ¢Â€Â™s signature in Leicester this week. The three-year deal signals a full-time return to the NRL for Tuqiri. Tuqiri joins internationals Robbie Farah, Benji Marshall, Taniela Tuiaki and Gareth Ellis at Wests Tigers under Australian coach Tim Sheens. Mr Humphreys said securing Tuqiri was a great endorsement for Wests Tigers and the clubÃ¢Â€Â™s prospects for the future. Ã¢Â€ÂœWe made it clear early on that should Lote be interested in returning to rugby league, then Wests Tigers were keen to accommodate him,Ã¢Â€Â™Ã¢Â€Â™ Humphreys said. Ã¢Â€ÂœThis club is about developing our local juniors to first grade but it is also good to attract high quality talent. Ã¢Â€ÂœLote attracted significant interest from European rugby clubs who have greater financial resources than we do. Tuqiri said he was glad to have his future settled and was looking forward to joining Wests Tigers. Ã¢Â€ÂœThere was plenty of speculation about my next career move. I was really appreciative of the interest I received from a number of clubs which made my decision that much harder,Ã¢Â€Â™Ã¢Â€Â™ Tuqiri said. Ã¢Â€ÂœI really appreciate the fact Stephen came to Leicester to meet with my family. We had a really good talk about a range of things which greatly assisted us in making the decision we have now made. "I enjoyed my time in rugby union immensely and have been very fortunate to have made many great friends through my time in the code. The Leicester Tigers have been terrific to me and my family and we will never forget the warm hospitality they and their supporters have shown us. Ã¢Â€ÂœIÃ¢Â€Â™m really excited to return to the NRL. There is no question it is one of the toughest sporting competitions in the world and I am confident Wests Tigers will enjoy great success in the coming years. Ã¢Â€ÂœThe opportunity to play under the most experienced coach in the game in Tim Sheens was a major factor in my decision. Wests Tigers is a club with a great culture and a terrific roster of players. I am thrilled to be joining them.Ã¢Â€Â Wests Tigers Coach Tim Sheens was excited to have secured a quality player like Tuqiri. Ã¢Â€ÂœLoteÃ¢Â€Â™s experience and ability will bring an X-factor to Wests Tigers,Ã¢Â€Â™Ã¢Â€Â™ Sheens said. Ã¢Â€ÂœHe has achieved more than most footballers and to have someone of his calibre in our team is a great addition to an already impressive squad of talented players. Ã¢Â€ÂœI know one of the main driving reasons behind LoteÃ¢Â€Â™s decision is that he is very keen to break back into representative footy, something other players coming back from rugby union have been unable to do of late.Ã¢Â€Â Tuqiri will complete his commitments with Leicester by the end of March before returning to Australia to join Wests Tigers.