Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The New Zealand Warriors pulled off a huge coup for the NRL yesterday when they announced that Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is returning to the club in 2024.
Last year RTS made the cross-code move to Super Rugby side the Auckland Blues but his stay in the 15-a-side game will be short-lived as he returns to Rugby League next season.
Waiting until 2024 to return could prove quite beneficial for Tuivasa-Sheck as the reason he moved to Rugby Union was to earn a spot in the New Zealand All Blacks squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup which is set to take place in France later this year.
However, as it is now confirmed that RTS will be leaving Rugby Union at the end of this year it may deter the All Blacks selectors from including him in the nation’s squad.
The Warriors have surprised many in 2023 as they currently sit in the top four and are eyeing a return to the finals.
If they can sustain their current form until Tuivasa-Sheck returns then they could prove a premiership contender next season but there are questions surrounding where the former Dally M Player of the Year will play.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has been tremendous at fullback for the Warriors but his versatility will likely see him shifted into the centres with RTS starting at fullback to commence the 2024 NRL season. That doesn’t mean things will stay that way as though as Tuivasa-Sheck has made way for an inform fullback in the past as he spent much of his final season in the NRL on the edge with Reece Walsh playing in the number one jersey.
Therefore, if Tuivasa-Sheck’s return is not as smooth as most would expect then he can easily shift to the centres for Nicoll-Klokstad.
Since moving to Rugby Union Tuivasa-Sheck has been primarily used on an edge so if the positional move was to happen then it would not be unfamiliar for the dual International.
Now that the prodigal son is returning the Warriors can focus on their huge Anzac Day clash with the Melbourne Storm that could see them solidify their place as a contender in 2023 in a game that RTS is sure to be watching closely ahead of his return to Rugby League next year.
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