NRL: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck commits to NZ Warriors for 2021

NZ Warriors fans can breathe a sigh of relief - Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has gone on record, confirming his commitment to the club in 2021.

Speculation has been rife, after Australian media reports claimed the club skipper was close to linking with New Zealand Rugby to chase an All Black jersey, because he wanted guarantees he could be with his family next year.

While the rumours were initially quashed by club management, they found new momentum last weekend, when incoming coach Nathan Brown told Australian breakfast radio it "would be a be a bonus" if Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is at the club next year. 

But on Friday, the Kiwis international set the record straight.

"It's a similar story that seems to happen every year [about my future]," Tuivasa-Sheck admits.

"I'll be here in 2021 with the Warriors and I'm looking forward to it."

The Auckland club has a matter of days left on their five-month stay in Australia, which concludes against Manly Sea Eagleson Sunday.

Tuivasa-Sheck has been away from his young family since May 4 and admits the emotional ride has been tough for him - but he's uncomfortable being held up as the ultimate example of personal sacrifice.

The 2018 Dally M Player of the Year has been praised for his commitment to the side, his leadership in trying circumstances and consistent performances every weekend, despite being separated from his loved ones.

Tuivasa-Sheck says he isn't the only member of the club to make sacrifices in 2020. 

"We are all in this together and I wasn't the only person that doesn't have their family here," he says. "There is Stacey [Jones] and Tony Iro, and most of the staff. 

"As much as I appreciated [praise], I couldn't accept that, because we were all here making sacrifices."

As the club approaches the end of a season no-one saw coming, hope is high that the Warriors have turned a corner.

On the field, encouraging results for the last 10 weeks have seen consistency creeping into team performances for the first time in several seasons.

With quality arrivals due at the club next season and the continued development of a talented core of youngsters, Tuivasa-Sheck is excited about what lies ahead, even if that means spending another entire season abroad. 

"Some of the young guys have gained that experience with a few NRL games under their belt.

"This club has shown that we can do it, so if it happens again, it happens. We have proven we can adapt and get on with the job.

"I'm really proud of all the young boys and how they have handled this, but everyone in the bubble has adapted and got on with the job, regardless of what has been thrown at them."

And with a season full of tribulations, the 27-year-old believes his captaincy has gone to another level.

"I felt like I have learned I can lean on other people and ask for help.

"I've realised that despite being the captain, I don't have to put my hand up for everything. 

"It's okay to reach out to the young boys and the staff."

The daunting prospect of two weeks in New Zealand COVID-19 quarantine awaits the players on return and Tuivasa-Sheck hopes they will be based in Auckland, so he can see his family from a safe distance.

Regardless, the rest of 2020 will be family-focused, with rugby league a distant memory until the new year.

"Not being able to see my kids - that's been the toughest part 

"But as soon as we finish this trip, it's about hanging out with my family and soaking that up, because we don't know what's going to happen in 2021."