Tuqiri rides his luck to the grand final
Lote Tuqiri has accomplished pretty much everything in his career.
A dual-international with the Wallabies and Kangaroos, an NRL premiership winner with the Brisbane Broncos and six-time Maroon, the 35-year-old has done it all and then some.
With the utmost respect, NSW Cup wooden spooners the North Sydney Bears didn't know what to do with themselves midway through the year when Tuqiri was dropped and consequently faced with the harsh reality of playing reserve grade.
With brothers-in-law Bryson Goodwin and Joel Reddy preferred by Michael Maguire on his flanks alongside young gun Alex Johnston over Tuqiri, the Fijian representative was left in limbo.
That is until fate reared its head.
Injuries to the experienced duo would see Tuqiri return to the NRL in Round 21 – having only previously played seven NRL games in 2014.
Now 80 minutes is all that separates him from a second NRL premiership ring.
"I'm still sort of processing it all, mate. It is all a bit of a blur at the moment," Tuqiri told NRL.com.
"I finished the game just then and I took a deep breath and I really thought to myself the job isn't done yet so now I can't wait for next week."
Tuqiri doesn't deny luck was on his side, maintaining it still is a matter of riding it out and seeing where it takes him.
"Guys got injured and I was given the chance to catch a break and I guess I've taken it," Tuqiri said.
"I'm very happy to be here now and really happy to be a part of the squad because as a whole they have worked really well this year.
"If you're not in the team then you're working really hard to get back in at training so it is a good feeling amongst the whole group."
While stints at the Broncos and Wests Tigers preceded Tuqiri's path to the Rabbitohs, the history of the red and green of the Bunnies is certainly not lost on the oldest player in the competition, who insists the game is not past him.
"I take pride in whatever jersey I have on me but seeing legends like Ron Coote and Bob McCarthy walk around the sheds I'm very happy to be representing guys like that," Tuqiri said.
"[Otherwise] I'm feeling okay. I'm felling fit. I guess I've become fitter as the year has progressed to where I am at the moment but I definitely still have to work hard throughout week."
As to where his future lies, a potential fairytale grand final win may be on the cards for the legendary winger though he is leaving all his options over until the conclusion of the season.
"There is potential for [a fairytale finish] but we'll see how the week pans out and go from there," Tuqiri said.
"I haven't sorted [my future] or thought about it. I'm just living in the moment."