Rugby: Brief All Blacks experience fuels Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in wait for game time

He's seen just 30 minutes of action for the All Blacks this year - but that's only fueled the fire for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who hopes to add to his two test caps on the upcoming Northern Tour. 

The former NZ Warriors captain feels his game is continuing to improve, and his recent switch to the wing is something he hopes can open the door to more game time.

Tuivasa-Sheck is a fan favourite at the All Blacks' camp in Nelson. And he's hoping he's just as popular with selectors on the northern tour. 

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and All Blacks coach Ian Foster.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and All Blacks coach Ian Foster. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

"I'm hungry for more," he told Newshub. "More learning from the coaches and trainers and players, trying to know what else I can do?

"What else can I be better [with] and where can I put myself in the frame as much as I can?"

Despite only two appearances off the bench in his first year back in rugby, the 29-year-old is pleased with his progress. 

Used solely in the midfield for the Blues and All Blacks, Tuivasa-Sheck was thrust onto the wing in his last two appearances for Auckland in the NPC, which is a move he'd be happy to make for the All Blacks as well. 

"I'd put my hand up for any position at this stage, just to be part of the 23," he continued. 

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been utilised on the wing for Auckland.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been utilised on the wing for Auckland. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

"That's the modern player now, especially for a back - being able to cover multiple positions."

Coach Ian Foster agrees with the philosophy, admitting he was pleased with the way Tuivasa-Sheck adjusted to the wing, a transition he thinks will only benefit him in the long term.

"I think the more versatile some rugby players can become, the better," said Foster.

"It's given him a greater insight into the game, so it's certainly going to help him."

But while the door is likely to open for Tuivasa-Sheck against Japan, he now also has the added complication of Anton Lienert-Brown's return.

Lienert-Brown only played 45 minutes for Waikato following shoulder surgery in April, but Foster has had little hesitation bringing him straight back into the squad, and the 56-test All Black is eager to repay his coach's faith.

"I don't want to be a passenger in this environment," Lienert-Brown told Newshub. "I know I've got a lot of work to do - but I want to do all I can to put the black jersey on."

"That's the philosophy here with each player," continued Tuivasa-Sheck. "Be better. You've got to be better, and you've got to turn up."

Tuivasa-Sheck is more than ready to do that again for the All Blacks. 

Join Newshub on October 29 for live updates of the All Blacks v Japan