Aiga a key factor in Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s return to rugby league

Blues midfielder Roger Tuivasa-Sheck spoke for the first time to the media, Friday, after announcing his departure from Rugby Union.

The 29-year-old announced the news on Thursday night, securing a three year deal to return to the Warriors Rugby League team after this year’s Super Rugby season with the Blues reports Tagata Pasifika.

“Out of respect for the Blues, my team-mates, coaches and of course the fans, I’m not going into too much detail about my next move,” he says.

“One thing was clear to me though, once I knew what my future held, I wanted to announce this and quickly shift the focus back to this season.”

Being of Samoan descent, Tuivasa-Sheck spoke about the importance of family in his culture and upbringing. And as he embarks on yet another chapter in his career, he was adamant that the love and support of his family remained strong.

“It’s massive with family, they are why I play the game. Always grateful for their support,” he says.

“As I’ve grown up, I’ve played to make my parents proud. Now that I am a parent myself, I play to make my kids proud.

“Securing a long term deal back at home is really important to me, and I’m really blessed that I can do that.”

The sudden move has prompted a variety of reactions across the sports scene, both in rugby union and rugby league circles.

Despite the departure, Tuivasa-Sheck says he is very much committed to the task in front of him with the Blues where, after two years, the players and management have become his ‘aiga’ too.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here at the Blues and made some great mates over the past two seasons,” Tuivasa-Sheck says.

“I’m a Blues man now and that’s where all my energy is going. We have an important run of games coming up as we push for a playoffs spot and ensure we finish as high on the table as possible.

“I’ll just enjoy the moment now and whatever happens from here is going to happen.”

Overseas rugby clubs had shown interest in Tuivasa-Sheck but his desire to remain in New Zealand, especially for his young family, proved too strong, adding that he’s happy to remain home.

Blues CEO Andrew Hore says Tuivasa-Sheck is a popular figure at Blues HQ and wished him well for his next move.

“When he told us he was leaving, his greatest concern was ensuring there was minimal distraction for us as a club. That speaks volumes to him as an individual and we wish him and his family all the best for the future.”

Blues head coach Leon MacDonald echoed the CEO’s thoughts saying Tuivasa-Sheck has played an important role in his time with the club.

“He will still have a role to play for us in 2023 as the team look to build some momentum into the campaign and push for home advantage in the knockout stages of the competition,” McDonald says.

“I wish him all the best for the next chapter in his journey and I’ll be watching on with interest!”



Photo Tagata Pasifika