National Rugby League superstar turned All Black Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has announced that he will leave Rugby Union at the end of this season.
Currently plying his trade for the Blues in Super Rugby, RTS has signed a multi-year deal with NRL side the New Zealand Warriors.
According to the Telegraph, RTS has signed a three year deal which will begin at the start of the 2024 season.
Rumoured in recent months to be heading to the Japanese League One competition, the 29-year-old’s return to the NRL is a major boost for a Warriors squad who are currently sitting in 3rd position on the NRL table.
Speaking about his return Rugby League, RTS said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here at the Blues and made some great mates over the past two seasons.
“Out of respect for the Blues, my teammates, coaches and of course the fans, I’m not going into too much details about my next move.
“One thing war to clear to me though, once I knew what my future held, I wanted to announce this and quickly shift the focus back to the season.
“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 ensuring we finished as high on the table as possible.
“In the immediate future I want to get my injured hand sorted so I’m back and available to help this team in any way I can for the remainder of 2023.”
During his initial stint in Rugby League, RTS was considered the best player in the game whilst captaining the Warriors.
Unfinished business. RTS. 2024 🔏ADVERTISEMENT
Read: https://t.co/1soACr4n1Q pic.twitter.com/96EtTNPL35
— One NZ Warriors (@NZWarriors) April 20, 2023
His deflection to Rugby Union was met with great excitement and it was assumed that he would go on to become a star in both Super Rugby and at Test level. Whilst by no means a bust as he showed glimpses as what he is capable of, he never quite got to the levels expected.
Having initially come through the Blues academy before going professional in League, RTS was thankful to the Blues Union for allowing to carry out a ‘childhood dream.’
“I’m grateful to the Blues for giving me the opportunity to return to the club where I played in my teens,
“I’ve been fortunate to play out some of my childhood dreams and for that I can only thank everyone I’ve been involved with here.”
Lending his weight behind one of his big name players’ decisions to move on to a new challenge, Blues head coach Leon MacDonald said:
“It takes a special kind of athlete to do what Roger has done,
“He was really finding his feet in the midfield early on this season before picking up an injury.
“The work ethic and diligence he’s put into his craft in his time with the Blues is certainly something he can be proud of.
“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.
“I wish him all the best for the next chapter in his journey, and I’ll be watching on with interest!”