Rugby: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck needs to cover wing to make All Blacks' World Cup squad, says Blues coach Leon MacDonald

Blues coach Leon MacDonald has added his voice to the calls for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to play more than one position, if he's any chance to secure an All Blacks spot for this year's Rugby World Cup in France.

Now preparing for his second full season in rugby union after switching codes from the NRL, Tuivasa-Sheck faces a battle to seal a regular spot in the All Blacks' plans.

While few players are guaranteed starting spots under Ian Foster, many players will know their place in the World Cup squad hinges on their ability to cover multiple positions.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for the Blues.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for the Blues. Photo credit: Photosport

In 2022, and in his first year of professional rugby, Tuivasa-Sheck impressed at Super Rugby level with the Blues on their way to the competition final, but found All Blacks minutes hard to come by after his first test call-up.

If the 29-year-old is to make the World Cup squad, he'll be competing with the likes of Jordie Barrett, who covers midfield and fullback, and Rieko Ioane, who covers wing and midfield. 

Tuivasa-Sheck has already shown he can play on the wing after a short stint with Auckland in last year's NPC, as well as plying his trade as one of the NRL's best fullbacks with both NZ Warriors and Sydney Roosters.

As a result, MacDonald is prepared to give Tuivasa-Sheck minutes on the wing during this year's Super Rugby season, as a means of boosting his utility value for the All Blacks' selectors. 

"We do need him to be more versatile, he needs to be more versatile," said MacDonald.

"[Not only] for his game, but to help with his [All Blacks] selection. He's had a bit of time on the wing with Auckland, and has spent a bit of time training on the wing for us.

"At some point, we might push him out there just to grow his game and his value.

"[His] first year was about knuckling down a position, now we're talking about using him in a bit more of a versatile role."

Tuivasa-Sheck has already shown his willingness to put in the work this season to push for higher honours, and ended his off-season break early to come back and play in the Blues' pre-season victory over the Hurricanes last weekend.