Uate Turns Down Ja­panese Of­fer

Fiji Sun - - Sports - Feed­back: leonec@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.

Akuila Uate.

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