Tuivasa-Sheck to switch codes in bid to make All Blacks World Cup squad

By Sports Desk January 30, 2021

New Zealand Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will switch codes at the end of the 2021 NRL season with the aim of playing for the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup.

Talismanic full-back Tuivasa-Sheck, 27, has been granted an early release from his Warriors contract to try and force his way into the New Zealand squad for the 2023 showpiece in France.

The 2018 Dally M Player of the Year and two-time Dally M Fullback of the Year expressed gratitude to the Warriors for allowing him to move to the 15-man format.

"This will be my last year with the club and yes, I will be moving to NZ rugby next year," Tuivasa-Sheck said during a press conference on Saturday.

"The club has been supportive in the request and giving me the option to explore.

"Rugby [union] has been the game I've grown up playing. It's always been there in the background. It's always been there, it's no secret. 

"To do it now in a time like this and have the club's support, that's why I chose it now. But rugby is down the line and all that stuff will happen later in the year.

"2021 is my focus, I'm excited about this year and so should the Warriors and NRL fans be.

"There's still a lot of goals I'm chasing [in league] and that's what I'm trying to do this year with the club. We've got a great group here and coaching staff to do something special this year."

Related items

  • Ireland's Johnny Sexton selected to face All Blacks after passing concussion tests Ireland's Johnny Sexton selected to face All Blacks after passing concussion tests

    Johnny Sexton will return to Ireland duty for the second Test against New Zealand, just a week after suffering a head injury in the opening game of the series.

    The fly-half and captain had to be replaced half an hour into the first Test after he failed a head injury assessment; however, he has been passed fit to feature on Saturday.

    Coach Andy Farrell named his team on Thursday for a game that will be played under a roof at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, with Mack Hansen coming in on the right wing.

    Ireland are otherwise unchanged, and to be able to call on Sexton is a boost to their prospects.

    Peter O'Mahony took on the captaincy responsibility after Sexton went off early in Ireland's 42-19 defeat in Auckland, and he welcomed confirmation that the 36-year-old would be available.

    Quoted by the Irish Independent, O'Mahony said: "There is no secret, Johnny is one of the best 10s in the world, one of the best players in the world, so you want to be dealing with a full deck.

    "We want to be playing with as full a bill of health as possible and there isn't anyone you can say you can afford to have out with regard to having three games in the space of nine or 10 days. He is hugely important to us, obviously our captain. I am far from a medical practitioner, but he has been in good form."

    New Zealand have a concussion absentee, with Sam Whitelock ruled out, meaning Scott Barrett is switched to lock from his flanker role as Dalton Papalii comes into the team.


    New Zealand team: J Barrett, Reece, Ioane, Tupaea, Fainga'anuku, B Barrett, Smith, Savea, Cane (captain), Papalii, S Barrett, Retallick, Tu'ungafasi, Taylor, Bower.

    Replacement: Taukei'aho, Ross, Ta'avao, Tuipulotu, Sowakula, Fakatava, Mo'unga, Jordan.

    Ireland team: Keenan, Hansen, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe, Sexton, Gibson Park; Porter, Sheehan, Furlong, Beirne, Ryan, O’Mahony, Van der Flier, Doris.

    Replacements: Herring, Healy, Bealham, Treadwell, Conan, Murray, Carbery, Aki.

  • Swain out of rest of England series after Australia lock suspended over headbutt Swain out of rest of England series after Australia lock suspended over headbutt

    Australia's Darcy Swain will miss the Wallabies' final two tour games with England after he was banned for a headbutt that saw him dismissed in the first Test.

    The Brumbies lock was sent off in the first half for clashing heads with Jonny May, leaving the hosts to play the remainder of the match a man down in Perth.

    Their numerical disadvantage did not prove costly after a dramatic 30-28 win over the tourists at Optus Stadium, but Swain will now play no role in the next two Tests after World Rugby upheld his red card.

    "Having acknowledged mitigating factors, including the player’s acknowledgement of foul play, clean disciplinary record, conduct at the hearing and expression of remorse, the committee granted the player full mitigation of 50 per cent," the committee said in a statement.

    "The committee further determined that given the above off-field mitigating factors and that a three-week sanction would be wholly disproportionate given the level and nature of the offence, the sanction was further reduced by an extra week."

    Swain, who celebrated his birthday earlier this week, can still appeal against the decision, which will otherwise keep him out of matches against Eddie Jones' side in Brisbane on July 9 and Sydney on July 16.

  • May facing Brisbane Test KO as Jones battles to find winning formula for England May facing Brisbane Test KO as Jones battles to find winning formula for England

    England wing Jonny May is set to miss Saturday's pivotal second Test against Australia in Brisbane as he makes a "graded return" from a coronavirus lay-off.

    The 32-year-old Gloucester player has yet to return to full squad training after emerging from quarantine, and that means he is not expected to figure in Eddie Jones' selection for the weekend.

    Defence coach Anthony Seibold said on Tuesday: "It was a long seven days for Jonny. He's been back on his feet today, running, but he didn't join in with the team. It will be a graded return to full training for him.

    "We tried to include Jonny while he was in isolation, so sending him the team meetings, the backs meetings. We've used him as a really experienced Test player. We have a really young group in the backs, so he's been a bit of a resource for those guys."

    May was absent as England loss the first Test 30-28 in Perth, where two late tries prevented the tourists incurring a heavier defeat. London Irish teenager Henry Arundell made a big impression off the bench as a wing and could come into contention to start in Brisbane, or Jones may elect to use him again as a high-impact replacement.

    England will also be without flanker Tom Curry, due to concussion, and the Sale Sharks man will not feature in the third Test in Sydney either.

    Seibold said potential replacements Lewis Ludlam, Sam Underhill and Jack Willis were "three really good guys".

    Quoted on Skysports.com, Seibold added: "Lewis Ludlam came on and competed really strongly when Tom Curry came off on Saturday.

    "He's been a great leader for Northampton this year and when he comes into camp you can certainly tell why he is the captain of his club.

    "Jack Willis is really good over the ball and competes really strongly defensively, while Sam Underhill was one of the outstanding players at the 2019 World Cup.

    "He missed out on selection for the first Test, but he’s competed really strongly to put himself in the frame for the second. So we've got some options there. Tom's a big part of our team so he'll be a loss, but it's an opportunity for somebody else."

    Losing senior figures means a difficult task for England becomes even more complicated. Australia have won their last five Tests on home soil – their best-such run since 2008 – and five of their last eight when hosting European opposition.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.