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Competitive NRL return imminent for RTS

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/01/2017 Angelo Risso

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is flying.

The Warriors fullback has endured a tough nine months by anyone's measure but insists his repaired knee will be ready for the rigours of 2017 NRL action.

Tuivasa-Sheck, 23, tore his left ACL just seven games into his Warriors tenure last year, having joined amidst much fanfare from Sydney Roosters.

The injury forced him to miss the remainder of the Warriors' season, as they slumped out of finals contention, as well as the Kiwis' failed Four Nations tilt in England.

Yet with three months of Warriors pre-season training under his belt and a steady reintroduction to full-contact drills, the Samoa-born fullback said the knee had responded well.

The occasional flare-up still took place but his sense of trust had returned.

"In November I was on the grass so I hit the ground running from day one, so it's been a good build-up," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

"It took some time but I'm flying now, I trust my knee, especially because I have trust in the medical team and people around me, so just confidence."

Sorely missed at fullback last year, Tuivasa-Sheck is expected to make his comeback to competitive action in next fortnight's Auckland Nines.

New head coach Stephen Kearney was coy on the issue, however, saying only that he'd pick the best squad available to him for the tournament.

Tuivasa-Sheck said he'd like to take part, having played in the Nines previously, but his first priority was full fitness for round one of the NRL.

The Warriors will start their season against last year's wooden spooners Newcastle on March 5.

"The season is what I'm really edging for, trying to have a good season, (but) if Stephen picks me for the Nines I'll go for it," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

"Everyone's trying their best, trying to put in hard work and it's a new game plan, new coaches, new style of play that we'll run with."

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