Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to be released from Warriors, confirms rugby switch

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 30 Jan 2021, 2:02PM
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Photo / Photosport
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Photo / Photosport

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to be released from Warriors, confirms rugby switch

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 30 Jan 2021, 2:02PM

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has confirmed he will leave the New Zealand Warriors to take up rugby in 2022.

The NRL superstar today confirmed reports of his stunning code switch, with the 27-year-old to be released from his Warriors contract at the end of the 2021 NRL season to move to the 15-man game.

He has yet to sign with a franchise, with the Blues understood to be the hot favourites for his signature as he attempts to make the All Blacks ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Tuivasa-Sheck said his desire to move back to rugby has been long held.

"It's always been there. It's no secret. Rugby is a game that I grew up playing ... [It felt like] the right time and to have the club support, that's why I chose to do it now."

Warriors chief executive Cameron George confirmed that the club would release Tuivasa-Sheck from his million-dollar contract in 2022 to allow him to move to rugby at the end of the 2021 campaign.

George said the club had been working with Tuivasa-Sheck on the move for some time, after the Warriors captain came to the decision a few months ago.

"Yesterday the club was able to consider and finalise the terms. As a club we're comfortable with it. Roger deserves this opportunity."

While the All Blacks is the goal, Tuivasa-Sheck knows that there is a hard road ahead.

"There've been people saying that I'm going to the All Blacks but that's a bit disrespectful for a brand like the All Blacks. You don't just walk into the All Blacks."

He also acknowledges the difficulties of leaving a club – and teammates - close to his heart.

"It is tough. I've put a lot into this club and the club has given me a lot too. Hopefully we can finish on a high ... Hopefully [the fans] can support me wherever I go.

"[My teammates] have been awesome and supporting me. I fronted them before. I wish we could've announced it proper and let them know first in a proper way but the boys have been awesome ... I'm all in with them this year.

"This club is special to my heart. I love being here and the family vibe ... I've gotten it off my chest and now I'm ready to [focus on the 2021 season]."