Planet Rugby

Marshall will be successful - Tuqiri

27th August 2013 09:08

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Lote Tuqiri Benji Marshall Wests Tigers NRL 2010

Lote Tuqiri backs Benji Marshall to shine

Dual international Lote Tuqiri believes rugby league team-mate Benji Marshall will excel when he represents the Blues next year.

Marshall's decision to join the Auckland-based franchise has polarised opinion in rugby union and league circles but Tuqiri, who plays with Marshall for Wests Tigers in the NRL, expects the 28-year-old New Zealander to prove his critics wrong.

"I think he'll go really well," Tuqiri told Sportal

"I think he's really pumped to get over there and do something but he's got two games for us to play really good footy and I think he did that on the weekend.

"We'll have a few chats over the next couple of weeks but we're all excited for him, it's a new chapter in his life but he's got two weeks to play well for us."

Tuqiri, who represented the Wallabies in 67 Tests, warned fellow code-hopper Israel Folau to get used to being starved of possession in the 15-man code.

Folau has impressed for the Waratahs and Wallabies since switching from AFL this season. He scored a 70 metre intercept try in the Wallabies' 27-16 loss to the All Blacks in Wellington last weekend but hardly touched the ball in attack.

When asked what Folau must do to get more involved, Tuqiri said: "Yeah I don't know, I don't know. I probably had the same problem at times ... but as a winger in rugby you've actually got to hold your shape and stay out there as much as you can because anything can happen.

"It's an unlimited tackle count and everything else so you can't sort of just come in for the sake of it.

"I think there's a lot of things he can do and (Wallabies coach) Ewen (McKenzie) is there and they've got a good coaching staff at the Wallabies to help him with that."

Tuqiri says it took him a full season of Test rugby to learn how to get his hands on the ball more frequently and admits he felt frustrated at times when he first made the switch in 2002.

"At times I did (get frustrated) because sometimes you just don't get your hands on the ball," he said.

"Sometimes it'll be a forward orientated game and there's a lot of kicks and there's rucks and mauls and then there's scrums and lineouts.

"And when the ball does come it sort of stops and 12 or 13 and gets recycled so it's just things you've got to get used to.

"It's not to say he's not playing well because sometimes that's just how the game goes."

Tuqiri revealed that it took him a full season of Test rugby to learn how to get his hands on the ball more frequently and admits he felt frustrated at times when he first made the switch in 2002.

"At times I did (get frustrated) because sometimes you just don't get your hands on the ball," he said.

"Sometimes it'll be a forward orientated game and there's a lot of kicks and there's rucks and mauls and then there's scrums and lineouts.

"And when the ball does come it sort of stops and 12 or 13 and gets recycled so it's just things you've got to get used to.

"It's not to say he's not playing well because sometimes that's just how the game goes."

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