Roger Tuivasa-Sheck headlines Blues squad for Super Rugby Pacific 2022

Of the 31 rookies signing with Kiwi Super Rugby Pacific sides for the first times in their careers, none warrant attention like Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

That’s because – with almost 200 NRL appearances, a 2013 Premiership title and a 2018 Dally M Medal to his name – 28-year-old former Warriors captain is among the highest-profile cross-code converts to have moved from rugby league to rugby union.

As such, the inclusion of Tuivasa-Sheck in next year’s Blues squad makes him one of the most prominent names in the Auckland franchise’s roster, and that’s saying something given they also welcome the return of All Blacks centurion Beauden Barrett back from Japan.

However, none of the 12 new and returning players have the mystique or allure that Tuivasa-Sheck, who is still yet to play his first professional match in union, offers.

Much of that degree of uncertainty stems from the fact that, not only has he not played union since his 1st XV, Blues U18 and New Zealand Schools days from 2011, but also that nobody really knows where exactly in the backline he will play.

One of league’s finest fullbacks who also spent time playing on the wing and at five-eighth, Tuivasa-Sheck has been tipped as either a wing, fullback or midfielder in union, with his exciting skill set suited to anyone of those positions.

Given his inexperience in the XV-man code, though, it was expected that he was going to be eased into action from the No 14 jersey in his NPC debut for Auckland against Bay of Plenty in August.