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Wests Tigers winger Lote Tuqiri has been granted a release from the Club to allow the dual international to take up an opportunity to play rugby union in Ireland.

Tuqiri left Sydney last night for a three month stint with Leinster Rugby Club.

A highly respected player, Tuqiri played 52 games for Wests Tigers and 151 NRL games. He played his final game for Wests Tigers against the North Qld Cowboys in Townsville last Saturday night.

Following a seven year stint in rugby union, Tuqiri made a spectacular debut for Wests Tigers in 2010 when he scored with his first touch of the ball against Manly at the Sydney Football Stadium in the opening round of the premiership.

The experienced winger quickly became a favourite amongst Wests Tigers supporters with his powerful running and ability to find the tryline. He was in vintage form during the 2010 finals series and was rewarded with selection in the Australian team for the Four Nations tournament.

A series of injuries saw Tuqiri play just nine games in 2011 with the club bowing out of the finals series to the Warriors.

Last year, Tuqiri suffered a upper arm injury in July that ended his season. Tuqiri worked hard on his rehab and made a successful return against the Sydney Roosters in round 23.

Ive really enjoyed my time at Wests Tigers and will take with me a lot of special memories as well as many friendships Ive made with the players and staff, Tuqiri.

My first year in 2010 was incredible. To come back from rugby and to achieve what I did was a great feeling. It was a great side to be a part of it but unfortunately we fell one game short of the grand final.

I just like to thank former coach Tim Sheens for giving me that opportunity to again play in the NRL. I also enjoyed working under Mick Potter this season.

I also like to thank the Wests Tigers members and fans for their amazing support of me. It was an honour to play for Wests Tigers and I know the club will only get stronger in the seasons ahead. There is some tremendous young talent here.

Wests Tigers CEO Grant Mayer said Tuqiri made an enormous impression on the club, both on and off the field.

His contribution to this club cannot be underestimated. His experience in helping young wingers such as Marika Koroibete and David Nofoaluma has been invaluable.

Lote Tuqiri will always hold a special place in the hearts of all Wests Tigers fans.
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Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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