AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 14: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Ken Maumalo and David Fusitu'a of the Warriors look on after losing the round 19 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium on July 14, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

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.

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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.

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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.

It’s time for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to depart the New Zealand Warriors, otherwise, his career may simply fade away into the dreaded ‘wasted potential’ category.

The ball is in your court now, Roger.

45 COMMENTS

  1. Chasing the Big $$$s doesn’t always do good for your career, sure good for the bank balance but no good if he is just a memory in a couple of seasons.

    You get what you deserve sometimes, Roosters went out on a limb for him, Basically pushing Minichello into retirement and then he leaves.

    Not to worry, We have the Future Australian Fullback now, Choose-another-cheque would be a good fit for a club like Souths, hate to say it but he would be a huge pick-up

  2. Could you imagine if Melbourne make a play for him….. with slater coming to the end of his career and all…… just when you thought Melbourne’s reign would end….. an RTS signing would be perfect for them and for HIM!
    Not that I want that to happen I’m a Panthers supporter but you can’t help but think what Roger being coached by Bellamy would be like…..

    • Shhhh Westie4Life. Souths are trying to sneak RTS and “Storm boy” Kaufusi in via the back door before anyone else realises. The Storm already have enough emerging young talent in any case. Jahrome Hughes would do the job nicely in Slater’s absence and he would be a welcome addition at Souths if they missed out on RTS. Yes, RTS would learn a lot going through the Storm system though I agree but it still does not mean that RTS cannot develop his game at other clubs like Souths. I can only imagine how GI could prove to be a very influential mentor for RTS as well.

  3. He ain’t staying in League after this year!!! Although I do believe he would be a good fit at Souths, he was a union player through and through growing up! He’ll be playing for the Auckland Blues in 2019 along with SBW and trying to break into that ABs squad

  4. Would love to see him in lime green. A man can dream… but yeah ditch the loser warriors RTS and save your career.

  5. There is no substance to this article, it’s just speculative BS….especially when you look at the roster we have for 2018 which is looking like the best roster NZ Warriors has ever had in their history ! and when you compare his stats, you have to understand he done an ACL which is a major injury, it takes time to come back from that sort of injury…..i don’t see the point in him going to Sth Sydney to play for the Souths when they have been playing garbage football….he’s probably thinking he wants to be around family, and to be the captain of the first Warriors team to win the GF , what else could be more motivation than that, and he’s getting paid well

    • That is great team on paper and i dont think there are any issues with RT wanting out – just needs a solid coach and training staff.

    • Mate the warriors are a flop. I’m from NZ so they are my second team but what happened last year with the so called “kiwi spine” and all the “top 4 predictions”. The club has been a basket case ever since they let cleary go to have a “kiwi coach”. Just look at the under 20s… Useless. Club is tainted from the top down. Teams need to be tough to make the top 8 so that counts the warriors out. 2018 13th place. You heard it hear first.

      • i’l tell you what happened , Foran is crap , got injured , and then SJ was gone because of injury
        Alex Corvo will get them in shape

        • Bro Shaun “princess” Johnson has no heart. Warriors have hampered his progress beyond repair. He will never be the player he was suppose to live up to. Apart from a few glimpses of brilliance you’d forget he was even on the field.

    • LOL,

      Every freakin year we say the warriors have an awesome team on paper and every freakin year it only takes about 4 rounds to see it’s going to be another dud season from the “Once were Warriors”.

      By now it’s apparent to blind freddy they are a waste of effort from the NRL, and are broken beyond repair.
      Time to punt them and put a new team in based on Central coast of NSW. Bring back the bears.

      • I second that motion daffy. Sorry Warriors fans but NZ really need to have their own national competition. It has always been something of a conundrum for me that the NRL (National Rugby League) incorporate an international team in their’ “National” competition. It just seems wrong and makes the very name of the organisation a lie. Bring back the Bears! They have waited long enough.

    • @ bigmanu

      Mate it’s always just talk until there is confirmation of a signing or a direct quote from the player concerned confirming the move. But then there were rumours about Crichton before he signed with the Roosters so you never know.

  6. I dont mind the warriors they went close one year a while back and i was hoping they would win the final that year…

    Shadow…

  7. Big Manu, you can’t call out Souths for playing garbage footy when your club is garbage itself 😂😂😂 (I know I can’t talk but oh well lol) I just think Roger is getting special treatment with the captaincy, every game I watched him last year he was a mess of a captain. I do believe handing him the captaincy is probably a way of trying to convince him to stay, but hate the fact or not that he will leave the club after this year and it will be to play union.

    • If RTS is not back to his near best this season then i won’t be too concerned if he decides to leave,
      his form was’nt that great 2017 , and i would expect some improvement particularly in defence , and his passing,
      but i think he would be pretty motivated and excited by the new recruits that have come into the team

  8. There is (and has always been) something horribly wrong inside the Warriors organisation. I wonder if installing a second NZ franchise would in fact give them the kick they need to sort themselves out…

    • No! No, no, no, no, no! That doesn’t make sense at all rl101. The Warriors and NZ RL are on life support as it is with only one team. A second team would push them under altogether. The elephant in the room is NZ Rugby Union. That is every Kiwi’s true love. Many Kiwi’s may follow the game of RL but their true passion is for Rugby Union and when it comes to emerging young talent, NZ RL only get the left overs. Those that do prove themselves (RTS and SBW for example) become targets for NZ RU. Why should the NRL invest further in NZ RL when the Kiwis are not equally invested in the process? If RL was alive and well in the land of the long white cloud they would already have their own national competition which would rival Australia’s. At the very least the Warriors would have featured prominently in the top 8 since their inception in the competition (as the Broncos have since their arrival).

      Just compare the support of QLDers supporting one team (i.e the Broncos prior to the introduction of the other 2 QLD teams) who represented a whole state to the support of those (the Warriors) representing an entire nation. Compare the passion. Compare the commitment. Compare the crowds. Just “compare the pair”, they are the “Industry SuperFunds” equivalent of these two teams in the NRL. Their paths have each charted a different course.

      IMO Australia should be no more involved in breathing life into a failing NZ RL competition than the Kiwi’s should be involved in giving Australian Rugby Union a leg up. Each nation needs to be responsible for their own competitions and their own development. If that means a sea of young Kiwi talent is lost to the NRL then so be it but so many that do succeed are already being developed by the game and living in Australia to begin with.

      Apologies to Kiwis and Warriors fans, this is only my opinion but it is something that has never sat easy with me particularly since the Auckland Warriors were the team that took the Rabbitohs place in a competition that they were founding members of.

      • I don’t agree with you on this SSTID – cutting the warriors and withdrawing from growing the game in NZ would be a travesty for the expansion of the game.
        All the talk of expanding into Fiji, Samoa, Tonga etc would not have been considered occurred without the NZ transit lounge playing a major role bringing in the players from that region.
        So applying your logic of not breathing life into a NZ RL competition is akin to withdrawing from Victoria (very similar population numbers NZ v’s Vic) and forgetting about expanding the games beyond the NSW and QLD borders – it is exactly the same proposition.
        From all reports the Auckland domestic competition is very healthy and Wellington is moving ahead quite well as well.
        Where the problem is is in the loss of focus, development and success of the Warriors over the last few years (basically since Cleary was punted). Like a lot of other clubs have done over time (Eels, Roosters, Tigers. etc etc) they have concentrated too much of their resources into trying to get success in the top grade and not the whole development process.
        The consistently successful clubs (Broncos, Storm, Nth Qld) all put a lot of effort and resources into ensuring their feeder clubs and junior pathways are successful – Warriors seem to have taken their eye of the ball in search of one-off success. The constant changing of coaching and leadership staff doesn’t allow them to take a long term view and that has hurt them.
        There was a time not that long ago when the warriors 20’s and other junior teams were providing playing stock but now it seems they are bypassing the warriors and coming through from the Auckland competition.
        A strong NRL needs a strong NZ presence with good pathways to feed the expansion into the pacific areas.

        • Then it should no longer be a national but rather an international competition if that is the case.

          NZ should be able to support their own competition if the game was developed and marketed correctly.

          It’s like having your kids move out of home and assisting them for a while but eventually they should be able to support themselves. Parents should not still be paying their rent 20 plus years later.

          Perhaps NZ, PNG, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa can have their own competition operating in NZ? Australia needs to grow the game on the mainland, not overseas.

          Like I said, I don’t see the Kiwis rushing to support Australian Rugby Union which is struggling by comparison with the game in NZ.

        • “Australia needs to grow the game on the mainland”

          See, I’m referring to NZ as if it was Tasmania (i.e. part of Australia). It’s not natural billy.

        • one point you are missing in your argument regarding NZ supporting their own competition – the population of NZ (4.3mm) is equivalent to the City of Sydney and we know that that Sydney could not sustain an elite competition. it struggles to sustain the number of clubs it has now.
          So using your logic, the NRL should go back to just being the NSWRL competition.
          Australia with all their financial capacity (compared to NZ and other areas) should have the responsibility for growing the game outside its borders. There is greater capacity and lesser competition to grow the game in those markets than in mainland Australia – the states where the NRL doesn’t have markets which are saturated with other sports and lesser populations and would be a tougher proposition to break into.
          With Tonga and Fiji’s success at the world cup should we not be looking to exploit those markets?
          That is not saying WA and other states should not be targeted for growth, but to throw all the resources into those areas could be a mistake due to the inherent hunger for AFL in those states.
          If there was such a narrow minded view in the past, there would be no Melbourne, Nth Queensland or Gold Coasts teams around and it would continue to be played solely in NSW and South East Qld.
          Look at the Super League, the game has expanded to France and Canada – yes there are Aussie and UK expats predominantly, but there is a presence and one which locals will eventually aspire to be part of.

        • the kiwis support the ARU by way of the super 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 or 39 (or whatever its called now) and vice versa.
          The ARU’s problem is greater than that – they have bankrupted themselves due to their inability to develop the grassroots game and leave it entrenched in the eastern suburbs (GPS schools predominantly) of Sydney and parts of Brisbane – ego and elitism has caused that.

        • The fact that NZ has approximately approximately one fifth of the population of Australia does not seem to have interfered with the Kiwis success on the World stage in Rugby Union or even (for a period) in netball. Kiwis have proven they have the talent when combined with passion and commitment to dominate an international sport. The Kiwis have been able to support a healthy, competitive domestic Rugby Union competition to the point of dominating the sport internationally for much of the sports history. Why is this not also possible with Rugby League?

          The total Australian population represents only 7.5% of the total population of the USA yet Australia won the last RL World Cup and the USA (population: 326,766,748) didn’t even get beyond their pool (Group D) along with Italy (population: 59,320,951). Instead (“against all the odds”) Fiji (population: 912,241) won the pool and progressed to the semi-finals. Tonga (population: 109,008) also made it all the way to the semi-finals while PNG (population: 8,418,346) made it to the quarter-finals.

          I think I just sunk your smaller population argument billy. That’s Checkmate I think. 😉

        • To conclude my point, it is not necessarily the size that counts, but what you do with it. Bahahahahahahahaha

          In other words, population alone does not tell the whole story, clearly a very small percentage of Americans or Italians play the game overseas. Even in Australia it is largely the Australian eastern seaboard that follow and play RL (with the sport growing in Victoria and Perth). How much of Australia’s total population is actively involved with RL that alone playing the game? The vast majority of Australians support the AFL and soccer with RL and RU dividing up the spoils that fall off the table. Anyone who thinks otherwise are mistaken.

          Population numbers do not necessarily tell the whole story billy. Development is also important, as well as marketing of the game. But so is a genuine PASSION for the game. These are at least some of the areas that perhaps NZ RL can improve on. At the end of the day, as I have said before, if Australia is failing on the international stage in RU and seem unable to support a domestic competition, I don’t see NZ through Australian Rugby a lifeline. Do you?

          Btw, growing up I played RU at school and RL on the weekends. I assure you that the inner city school I attended had a reputation at the time for being one of the roughest in the country. That was about as far from elitism as you can get! If you doubt it just ask chalky, we went to the same school. Didn’t we coach? 😉

        • Did I mention billy that our school played in a RU state knockout and by the time it got to the last 4 teams left (the semi-finals) 3 out of the 4 were from our zone (or local competition). THAT is how tough the competition was. We also finished in the top 4 in the state RL knockout in successive years. Doesn’t that bring a tear to your eye chalky? 🙂

        • Oops! Let’s try that again…

          @ billy

          “not breathing life into a NZ RL competition is akin to withdrawing from Victoria”

          No it isn’t. Last time I check Victoria (aka “Mexico”) was still part of Australia and you don’t need a passport to cross the border. This is meant to be a “NATIONAL” competition billy and everything I have written on Zero Tackle has been in favour of expanding the game throughout Australia (even Tasmania billy). But Tasmania is NOT New Zealand. They are NOT the same billy. The Kiwis had their chance 7 years prior to the the birth of Rugby League in Australia when they decided at the 11th hour to opt out of federation in 1901. Did you know that billy? New Zealand were originally included in the process of federation but decided against it at the last minute. Sorry billy but it is NOT the same as comparing Melbourne’s position in the NRL with that of NZ. Try harder billy.

          What about my idea of having a combined NZ, Fijian and Polynesian competition in NZ? Perhaps they could take PNG as well? All these teams should be based in NZ to play the competition to make the logistics more manageable. How about that billy? Then the NRL premiers can play the NZ and combined Polynesia premiers in the “Oceania Cup”. How about that?

        • The bigger you are the greater the penetration, it’s all about dominance! Mobility and stamina can be compromised however there are stimulants , just don’t get caught

        • Just humour to emphasise a point mate. You know I don’t let the truth get in the way of a punchline. Just remember before you start bragging we have all seen the famous Greek form in the Greek statues from antiquity. Nothing to brag about mate, just a small fist full of silly putty should do the job. Bahahahahahahahahahaha

  9. He could play for the Warriors for the next 10 years – get well paid, eat pies and barely break out a sweat. He’s captained the club and represented New Zealand – only thing left is a premiership and unlikely to win a premiership at the Warriors in the next few years. The only career to save is maybe one with the All Blacks.

  10. In theory, the Warriors should be almost on par with the Broncos – in terms of success, members, etc – they have a huge talent pool, plenty of potential sponsors. I spend a bit of time in NZ and the locals in Auckland I meet have practically given up on them. The club needs a total overhaul. One well known NZ ex-player told me last year that the team needs at least 4 Australian rep players – and needs to stop signing ageing kiwis who want to come home to semi-retire.

    • The guy wasn’t even playing at 100% … he only played cause he felt like he owed it to the warriors. Guarantee you if he was healthy he would’ve been better

    • The Tigers should have the room under the cap to fit RTS in but do they have the $$’s? If the Tigers get RTS move Lolohea to the halves with Reynolds and give Brooks the flick. That would be my advice, even though Reynolds would make a better hooker. Liddle looks promising at hooker though and is worth developing while Brooks should be let go. Even Benji would bring more to the Tigers than Brooks and Benji is spent!

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