Leinster seeking to keep Tuqiri
Short-term replacement for Strauss to be announced this week
Leinster are looking to extend Lote Tuqiri’s contract, which expires at the end of the month. Photograph:
A hand injury to Fergus McFadden and Luke Fitzgerald’s recall to the Ireland squad has highlighted Leinster’s need to extend Lote Tuqiri’s three month contract.
“Lote is contracted until the end of the month,” said coach Matt O’Connor. “We will be having a conversation with the union this week.”
When asked if the province want to keep the 34-year-old former Wallaby, who has been injured for most of his time in Dublin, O’Connor replied: “Potentially. Given the amount of players with Ireland it is an opportunity that we probably need to look at to give ourselves the best chance.
“If you look at Luke Fitzgerald as a centre we are probably a body or two shy.”
Leinster will also sign a short-term replacement for Richardt Strauss this week. The hooker, to understudy for Seán Cronin, hails from New Zealand but is not an international and still needs to secure a work permit.
Strauss was togged out at training in UCD yesterday, following heart surgery, but will not return to full contact until next season.
“There should be an announcement by the end of the week, hopefully,” O’Connor added.
“Straussy is just doing some conditioning work. He can’t run into blokes, he can’t play touch footie, he can’t do anything like that because of the anti-clotting medication.”
If South Africa don’t select Zane Kirchner to face France on Saturday, Leinster will use him for Sunday’s trip to Treviso.
However, Andrew Goodman, Leo Cullen (both Achilles) and Jordi Murphy are still unavailable.