NRL: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck acknowledges battle to secure starting spot on return to NZ Warriors

Despite his status as a former NRL Dally M Medal winner, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck knows his place in the NZ Warriors starting side in 2024 is far from secure.  

The former Warriors captain is back in pre-season training, returning to the Auckland club next season, after an attempted code switch to rugby union.  

While Tuivasa-Sheck struggled to hit the same heights in the 15-man code, his return to the Warriors comes with optimism, after the club enjoyed a 2023 resurgence, coming within one game of the NRL Grand Final.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Photo credit: Getty Images

Under first-time head coach Andrew Webster, they won 17 games, before a preliminary final defeat to Brisbane Broncos.  

With Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad now firmly established as the Warriors' leading No.1, Tuivasa-Sheck won't return to the club as a starting fullback, but will look to break into the centres.  

That comes with its own challenges, forcing Tuivasa-Sheck to break up the centre pairing of Rocco Berry and Adam Pompey, both of whom enjoyed career-best seasons in 2023.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he is well aware he'll have to earn his spot, rather than walk straight into the No.3 or No.4 jersey.

"It's fair to say that I have to prove myself all over again," he said. "That's what I'm really excited about, because I do have to prove myself.

"That's one thing that me and Webby spoke about. He's encouraged me to come in and be that kid again.

"I've been absent for two years from this place and last year, watching them from afar, they've been awesome, so I'm excited to see firsthand what the environment is and learn again."

Even after his struggle to establish himself in rugby union, there's no denying Tuivasa-Sheck's NRL pedigree.

In 2013, he won his first premiership with Sydney Roosters, playing 25 games and scoring nine tries. After moving to the Warriors in 2016, Tuivasa-Sheck was named club captain under coach Stephen Kearney.

In 2018, as part of the side that returned to the NRL finals, he was named as the NRL's best player, winning the coveted Dally M Medal for his efforts.