Rugby: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to return to union as a winger, Auckland assistant coach confirms

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will begin his rugby union return playing on the wing in the NPC for Auckland, assistant coach Craig McGrath says.

After leaving the NZ Warriors and rugby league last week, 28-year-old Tuivasa-Sheck has linked up with his new Auckland teammates ahead of the NPC beginning this weekend. 

Newshub understands Tuivasa-Sheck won't feature this week, as Auckland begin their season against Canterbury at Eden Park on Sunday.

Speculation over the position Tuivasa-Sheck will play has been rife since it was confirmed earlier this year he would return to the 15-man code, where he played as a schoolboy before attracting the interest of Sydney Roosters in the NRL.

One of the world's best fullbacks in rugby league, Tuivasa-Sheck has been spoken about as a contender for the outside backs, as well as midfield.

Speaking to SENZ, McGrath says Tuivasa-Sheck will play on the wing, rather than midfield, most likely to be second-five. 

"I think long-term there's talk about him playing that position (number 12)," McGrath says.

"But like I said, we want to ease him into this process, so we probably see him as a right winger. It'd be silly of us (not to). 

"He's played that position so let's try and push him into that position at this stage. For us in the coming weeks we'll look at him as a winger."

McGrath also hailed Tuivasa-Sheck's approach to arriving back in rugby, backing him to succeed after making his name in rugby league.

"The first thing that sticks out is obviously he is an ultimate professional," he adds.

"I think that's going to be really good for our younger group of players, not just on the field but off the field it will be a great opportunity to learn off him.

"In the short time that I've seen him, I think he will be successful at this level."

Tuivasa-Sheck could make his Auckland debut as early as August 14, when Auckland face Tasman in Nelson.