Rugby league: NZ Warriors confirm captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will leave struggling club early

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 26 Jul 2021, 5:21PM
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's Warriors career is over. (Photo / Photosport)
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's Warriors career is over. (Photo / Photosport)

Rugby league: NZ Warriors confirm captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will leave struggling club early

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 26 Jul 2021, 5:21PM

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will not play another game with the New Zealand Warriors.

The inspirational skipper will finish his Warriors career this week to enable him to return home before the Government completely pauses its Covid-19 travel bubble with Australia for at least eight weeks.

The Warriors have spent the majority of the last two seasons based across the ditch, due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Tuivasa-Sheck's last game for the Warriors was against the Penrith Panthers, where he had to depart with a concussion. He was set to return to play against the Wests Tigers this weekend before the decision was made to head home.

"We're hugely sympathetic to Roger's position," said Warriors CEO Cameron George.

"The Government paused the travel bubble last week and announced it was giving New Zealanders seven days to return home. The reality is the border might be closed for more than eight weeks.

"Roger is going to rugby union with our blessing but if we require him to see out the rest of his contract he won't be able to return home until at least the end of September and maybe a lot later. It would seriously impact on his ability to make his start in union and we wouldn't want to see that happen.

The Warriors have endured a tough season in the NRL under Nathan Brown. Photo / Getty Images

The Warriors have endured a tough season in the NRL under Nathan Brown. Photo / Getty Images

"We were so excited about the chance of Roger being farewelled at Mount Smart Stadium on August 15. It would have been so fitting.

"It's disappointing for everyone that there can't be a better end to a wonderful career but these are the times we're living in. Our hands are tied."

Tuivasa-Sheck joined the Warriors in 2016 after making 84 appearances for the Sydney Roosters.

He missed last Saturday's clash against South Sydney after being concussed in the club's encounter with Penrith (the only match he has missed this year).

Tuivasa-Sheck finishes with 111 games and 30 tries in his six seasons with the Warriors. Overall he has made 195 NRL appearances and scored 58 tries.

He announced earlier this year that he would be joining rugby union - and the Blues - from next season.

"I'm really grateful that the club has supported me through this process and we've come to an agreement. It was a really tough decision," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

"I was trying to get my family to come over here into Australia so we could lock down here and go about our business.

"It was a tough decision to leave the group and leave this club. It was tough holding it all back. Having the boys seeing me and I'm pretty sure they're disappointed … it was tough to hold back the tears that's for sure."

The Warriors have endured a tough season - their first under Nathan Brown.

They occupy 14th place on the NRL table with their 60-22 defeat to the Rabbitohs at the weekend their worst of the year.

They have lost 12 of 17 games.