Back-rower Lukhan Tui has confirmed that he will not return to international rugby and play on the Wallabies’ upcoming tour of Europe.
Tui left the team after Australia’s defeat against Argentina in September, after losing his stepfather in the same week.
Tui told the Wallabies he was to take the rest of the year off to support and be with his family, though head coach Michael Cheika hoped he would return and kept the door open.
“I’ve spoken to him and am trying to cajole him back into the saddle because I think it’s good for him and for his family that he gets back to doing what he loves,” Cheika told Fox Sports last week. “But it’s a personal issue and he’ll make a decision this week around whether he’s going to be available for the tour.”
— Lukhan Tui (@LukhanTui) October 12, 2018
In a social media post, Tui confirmed that he will stay in Australia to be with his family in what he referred to as ‘the easiest decision’ to make.
“I’ve always been & forever will be #FamilyOverEveything, hence the choices I’ve made,” he wrote.
Woah. Understand frustration from wallabies fans, but no room for this. Ugly at the Gold Coast. Push and shove between fans and players pic.twitter.com/rIduG6ajgj
— Chris Dutton (@BlockaDutton) September 15, 2018
“Stepping away from the game of rugby for the remainder of the year is a decision that is for my siblings and for my Mum. Rugby will always be there & at the end of the day it is only just a game.
“Because there’s honestly no atmosphere, experience, money or jersey that could ever separate me from doing what I love and that’s looking after my family,” Tui said.
Part of Tui’s decision to walk away stemmed from an incident following the match against Argentina where the 22-year-old was confronted by fans in the stands who sparked an altercation.
In other news:
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now