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Auckland boss gives update on Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's potential debut

By Alex McLeod

Trending on RugbyPass

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Auckland head coach Alama Ieremia has provided an update on when former NRL star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck could make his highly-anticipated rugby union debut.

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The ex-Warriors captain has been training with Auckland since last week after returning to New Zealand to embark on his high-profile code switch.

The 28-year-old participated in warm-up drills prior to Auckland’s season-opening 35-24 NPC victory over Canterbury at Eden Park on Sunday, but a could still be another week or two away.

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Ieremia said following his side’s win that Tuivasa-Sheck, who has only participated in a few training sessions since linking up with the Auckland squad, will be more involved in training this week.

He said should provide more clarity around how ready he is to take to the field for Auckland as the province aims to go one place better than last season’s runner-up finish.

“We’ll just take it week by week, training by training,” Ieremia said.

“Part of him being here last week was to experience what the team goes through, in terms of build up and warm up, understanding that and how we get into games.

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“He’s just learning the game and this week we’ll find out where he’s at and it’s important that we do it properly.

“We also have a good team, so we don’t want to compromise what we’re doing at the moment.

“We’ll definitely come grounded early in the week, it’s only game one, we’ve got a short turnaround and they don’t get any tougher than playing the champions [Tasman] next week, I’m already looking forward to that.”

Should he not be selected for this week’s clash against Tasman in Nelson, an appearance against Bay of Plenty in front of a home crowd in round three seems likely for the 2018 Dally M Medallist.

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While he is yet to make his first foray into the XV-man game, Auckland captain and Tuivasa-Sheck’s soon-to-be Blues teammate Harry Plummer said the 2013 NRL Premiership winner has made a strong impact off the field.

“Roger has been awesome,” Plummer said.

“We have to remember he’s only been in for a week and he’s filtered in and the true professional he is, he doesn’t look out of place.

“He trained with us fully on Friday and we saw what he can do. He’s been helping the young boys out and they’ve been helping him too.

“There’s a really good feel at the moment, so whenever his time comes, the whole city will be excited and we’ll be excited as well, but for him, it’s getting his confidence to play, whenever that may be and wherever that may be.”

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Auckland boss gives update on Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's potential debut

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