Uate Turns Down Japanese Offer
Three years ago Newcastle flyer Akuila Uate knocked back an advance from the Australian Rugby Union, prompting them to chase the signature of Israel Folau. The move from the ARU was serious and one that forced the Fijian speedster to weigh up his options before deciding to commit to the Knights for a further four seasons. Now the rumour mill has again kicked into gear linking the former Test and Origin winger to rugby once more, this time in Japan. Despite the talk, Uate’s manager Darryl Mather told The Sunday Telegraph his client will remain at the Knights until his current contract expires in 2017. “No, that (Japanese) rugby is not the case and Aku be completing his contract,” Mather said. “I can definitely assure you he isn’t being shopped there and we’ve had no interest either. But Aku has received interest from rugby in the past. I did get a call from an agent they could assist to get him to Japan, but nothing eventuated. When he didn’t show interest, the Australian Rugby Union directed their intentions to Folau just a few weeks later. But Aku won’t be going anywhere and he is just trying to work hard as a senior player to help the club and the coach to bring the young players on and hopefully playing well again. “He is very committed to completing his contract at Newcastle.” Uate was once one of the most feared wingers in the NRL.
Back in 2012 the Fijian-born flyer represented New South Wales and Australia and he was Newcastle’s leading tryscorer with 18. He has struggled to reach those grand heights in recent seasons, but has worked overtime in a bid to rediscover his best.
This is good news for Knights fans, especially given Uate is one of the club’s highest paid players, on a contract worth $AUD 500,000 plus a season.