Roger Tuivasa-Sheck responds to NRL return rumours
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s first season in the All Blacks has perhaps not gone quite the way the 29-year-old would have hoped.
After making the switch to rugby union late last season, Tuivasa-Sheck was fast-tracked into the New Zealand national side following his first season of Super Rugby Pacific. Despite being a member of the squad since the July Test series, however, Tuivasa-Sheck has managed just two games in a black jersey, earning 10 minutes off the bench against Ireland and then a further 10 minutes as a replacement in NZ’s most recent win over Australia.
While Tuivasa-Sheck’s promotion to the All Blacks came quicker than many expected, his progression from the wider squad to the playing squad has been anything but.
“The little whisper is that there is a contract on the table for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck back at the Roosters,” said John Kirwan on The Breakdown.
Tuivasa-Sheck previously spent four seasons with the Roosters in the NRL, and was named both Dally M Winger of the Year and Dally M Fullback of the Year during his time with the Syndey-based club. Tuivasa-Sheck made over 80 appearances for the Roosters before linking up with the Warriors, where he played a further six campaigns.
The man himself has shut down any suggestions that he’ll be looking for an early exit from rugby union, however, making a post on Instagram to reaffirm his intentions.
“Hey team, hearing [rumours of] a return to Sydney Roosters & NRL,” Tuivasa-Sheck said. “As much as I enjoyed it there, I won’t be heading back. Signed sealed delivered (sic) till the end of 2023.”
David Havili, Quinn Tupaea and Jordie Barrett have all been preferred in the No 12 jersey over Tuivasa-Sheck throughout this year’s Test season. Even if the 29-year-old had been considering an early exit from his two-year contract, the recent injury to Tupaea – which will likely see him back on the field only shortly before next year’s Rugby World Cup – might have changed his mind.
The impending return from injury of Anton Lienert-Brown will make Tuivasa-Sheck’s challenge to break into the All Blacks match-day squad even more formidable, however – although it appears that a positional switch could also be on the cards.
Notably, Tuivasa-Sheck did not give any indication of what his plans are post-Rugby World Cup – but the same could be said for any player who’s contract runs until the end of 2023.
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