Roger Toivasa Chic. Photo / Photosport
Roger Toivasa-Sheik has confirmed that he will leave New Zealand Warriors to play rugby in 2022.
The NRL star confirmed today Reports on the amazing switch, With the 27-year-old being released from his contract with the Warriors at the end of the 2021 NRL season to switch to the 15-player game.
He has yet to sign with a franchise, as the Blues is understood to be his signature favorite as he tries to make All Blacks ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Tuivasa-Sheck said his desire to return to rugby held out long ago.
It’s always been there. Not a secret. It’s been in the news here and there because Rugby was a game where I grew up playing rugby where I started my little footie – I play rugby right there. So it was always there in the background.
“To do it now at a time like this and have club support, that’s why I chose to do it now.”
Warriors CEO Cameron George has confirmed that the club will release Tuivasa-Sheck from the final year of its million-dollar contract in 2022 to allow it to move to rugby at the end of the 2021 campaign.
George said the club had been working with Tuivasa-Sheck on the go for some time, after the Warriors captain made the decision a few months ago.
Yesterday afternoon, the club was able to look and finish a number of things related to these stories [in the media].
“This is not a bomb for the club. We have been discussing this for a number of weeks now, so the important thing for us was to explore the options respectfully with Roger, and understand what his wishes were. At the end of the day, Roger won the club’s respect for stepping forward and sitting with us and determining the decision we reached.” .
“We wish Roger all the best in 2022 and beyond … He really motivated the team in very difficult circumstances, away from home and a different environment. As a club we feel comfortable with him. Roger deserves this opportunity.”
While the target is the All Blacks, Tuivasa-Sheck knows there’s a tough road ahead.
“I’ve got a lot of people saying ‘You’re going to Team All Blacks’ but that’s a bit disrespectful for a brand like that. All I have is to come back and play rugby.
“You’re not just getting into a brand like All Blacks. You have to make your way. The first is just there’s a crack in that. And like I said, I grew up playing rugby, so there’s a crack back in that.”
He also acknowledges his difficulties in leaving the club – and his teammates – close to his heart.
“It’s tough. I put in a lot at this club and this club gave me a lot too. I hope I can finish the game at the highest level and we can all finish a high team. I hope they can continue to support. Follow me wherever I go.”
“[My teammates] She was amazing and supportive. There will be some jokes here and there for a few weeks but they were great. You have encountered them before. We received advice on how to advertise this in the media. So I wished we could advertise it properly and tell them a better way first but the boys were good and supportive. They are eager to make it happen this year and I am all with them.
“This club is special to my heart. I love being here and I love the family atmosphere that we live in here. So just to let the team and club know, and now that I’ve gotten rid of that from my chest, I’m ready to just focus and focus and win it for this club.”