Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is expected to re-sign with the New Zealand Warriors as early as this week after coach Stephen Kearney said it was a matter of ”when” and not ”if” the highly-skilled Kiwi international confirms he will remain in the Telstra Premiership.
Kearney told NRL.com “when” the announcement is made, it will come as a huge relief and a boost to both the players and the Mt Smart faithful.
“He’s a quality individual and the captain of our team, so when that announcement does get made I’m sure it will send a tremendous boost not only to the other players but to our members as well,” Kearney said.
“He is a great young man and he’s really determined to see the club succeed and be a part of that. When that happens I’m sure it will be a positive for everyone.”
Kearney’s announcement of what is believed to be a four-year deal starting in 2019, which follows a story published by the New Zealand Herald, squashes rumours Tuivasa-Sheck was poised to take up an offer with the New Zealand Rugby Union and switch codes in pursuit of an All Blacks jersey.
Tuivasa-Sheck also fielded offers from several other NRL clubs chasing his services including the Warriors’ round one opponents, the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Despite the fullback’s playing future being a point of conversation since the Rugby League World Cup, both player and coach say it has not been a distraction on the training paddock.
Tuivasa-Sheck proved that during his first hit out of 2018 in the Warriors’ trial match victory over the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday.
The fleet-footed fullback showed why he is a man in demand with touches of brilliance throughout – setting up a Warriors try for Solomone Kata as well as some try-saving defence.
The Warriors leave Auckland for Perth on Monday, taking a squad of “about 20” over for their round one clash with South Sydney on March 10, Kearney said.