Roger Tuivasa-Sheck made a bold move in 2015, signing a three-year, $2.4 million deal with the New Zealand Warriors. Now, as the Kiwi fullback comes off contract, it’s time for him to correct that mistake.
Flashback to the start of the 2015 season. Anthony Minichiello had just retired after a stellar career in Bondi, handing the number one jersey to young superstar, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. He’d filled in admirably when needed at the back in the years prior, but that year he made the custodian role his own. He hit the ground running, immediately announcing himself as one of the game’s premier fullbacks.
But just a few rounds into the season, ‘RTS’ shocked the rugby league world by signing with the New Zealand Warriors on a monster deal. He was departing a club known for its reputation of keeping their stars, in a bid to return home across the ditch.
His form was mixed in the start to his Warriors career, before an ACL tear prematurely brought an end to the fullback’s season. His form certainly picked up in 2017, but it’s time he realized that he won’t reach his full potential at a club known for its inconsistency.
In his final season at the Roosters, RTS averaged 0.44 tries a game, and a 0.5 assists each match as well as running for 229 metres a match.
Compare that to his Warriors stint, 0.34 tries per match going hand in hand with his 0.38 assists, but the most considerable drop is his average metres, falling to 179 metres.
There’s no doubt there’s a sense or pride returning to play in your home country, especially when you get the opportunity to captain the squad. But at what point do you admit that playing with that pride is not only hurting your reputation, but also jeopardising the success of your career.
He returned to his home country and led the team, but it’s time for Roger to depart his beloved New Zealand and return to an Australian side to realize his potential.
South Sydney have already expressed interest in the fullback, and it could be the move that saves his career.
Playing around internationals like the Burgess brothers, Greg Inglis and Dane Gagai takes a lot of pressure off RTS, and moving to a club with an incredibly rich history and strong culture could be exactly what Tuivasa-Sheck needs.
He can rule out his former club, the Roosters, as a potential suitor, having snared James Tedesco for the next four-years.
The ball is in your court now, Roger.