If you have been listening to the Fergo and The Freak podcast you would not have been shocked when the news came through that Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has received permission to negotiate with the New Zealand Rugby Union to organise a code switch with an eye on playing for the All Blacks in the 2023 Rugby Union World Cup.
After playing for a terrible Warriors side for the last number of years RTS has chosen to roll the dice like a player at joka room Australia and make a move which he feels will be more fulfilling to him than helping a terrible Warriors team out of the doldrums.
That seems fair enough.
The Warriors have been so poorly run in recent years, making terrible signings, holding onto the wrong players and persisting with terrible coaches.
After starting his NRL career at the Sydney Roosters Tuivasa-Sheck made a big money move to the New Zealand Warriors and become the centrepiece of a club that desperately needed to rebuild. The problem was that the Warriors never actually rebuilt around RTS, and despite RTS playing at a world beating level each and every week, the team around him let him down over and over again.
Tuivasa-Sheck is in the prime of his career, and you have to ask yourself, how long was he expected to waste the best years of his career at a club that has shown it is incapable of being any sort of premiership threat?
By making a move to Rugby Union, at least RTS is taking a step forward.
Tuivasa-Sheck will walk into the New Zealand All Blacks team and be one of their best players immediately. He is a fantastic player who has size, speed and skill. If the global pandemic settles down, it will also afford RTS the opportunity to ply his trade in a number of different countries, and open up the big French market. Will we see Roger Tuivasa-Sheck enjoying the jeux de machine a sous in Paris some time soon?
Back to the Warriors, they now have a player who will be a top class performer for them for the rest of the season in a year where not much is expected from them. They will have salary cap room to spend in 2022 but it will be hard to attract a top of the line talent to the club based on their immediately history.
Some have suggestion the Warriors would cut ties with RTS now. A lot of this calls come from very disappointed fans.
Unless they could use his salary cap money to bring in more talent, it would seem like a bad move. Although it will be hard to watch Tuivasa-Sheck play, knowing he is already setting his sights elsewhere next season, at this point of the year getting a replacement player of any quality for him seems unlikely.
The way I see it, the Warriors have no one to blame but themselves for losing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s interest. They had him locked up on a great deal, and he started to look at his options as the club failed season after season.
Star players have so much demand for their services and therefore they have so many options. You can’t just offer a player big money any more to keep them happy. You have to stay competitive.
That is something the Warriors have always struggled with, and now it has cost them their best player.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com