You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Conscientious RTS to lead by example

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/02/2017 Angelo Risso

New Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck says he needed a little positive reinforcement from family and teammates to accept the role.

The 2013 NRL Premiership winner was named as the surprise successor to Ryan Hoffman on Wednesday, despite having played just seven games for the club.

Joining at the start of the 2016 campaign from the Roosters, the 23-year-old started last year strongly before tearing his ACL in April.

He sat out the remainder of the NRL season as a result, as well as the end-of-year Four Nations campaign for the Kiwis.

Seeking a captain that led by example, new boss Stephen Kearney sounded out Tuivasa-Sheck for the role after the side's Christmas break.

He gave the Samoan-born No.1 the chance to mull his decision over and speak with his parents about the gig, as well as senior players including Jacob Lillyman.

Much to Tuivasa-Sheck's surprise, the response he received was unanimously positive, backing him to take the role.

He now hoped to make up the lost time of 2016 by creating the right atmosphere around the club and possibly lift the club's first Premiership.

"The biggest one for me was if it was going to affect me and if it was going to affect how the team reacts," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

"They were all really supportive, had my back and said I should go for it."

Kearney told reporters he expected Tuivasa-Sheck to err towards the strong, silent model of leadership, having knocked his knee rehabilitation out of the park.

But he also had a contagious energy from which his teammates could feed.

He'll be rested for this weekend's Auckland Nines but return fit and firing in the side's round one fixture against Newcastle on March 5.

"Leadership comes in a lot of different forms and for me, that's one of the real qualities of Roger," Kearney said.

"The way Roger prepares himself every day, for every match, he wants to be the best which means he prepares that way."

Yet with Tuivasa-Sheck's promotion to the top job comes the demotion of ex-skipper Hoffman, who will also leave the club at the end of 2017.

The signing of Storm back rower Tohu Harris from next season will thus serve as a like-for-like replacement for Hoffman, who was captain for just one year.

Kearney admitted his conversation with Hoffman was a tough one, given the NSW representative's professionalism and quality.

He hoped the 33-year-old could find a new club, having been provided almost 12 months to secure a deal elsewhere.

In the meantime, he will continue to serve in the side's 10-strong leadership group and give Tuivasa-Sheck advice.

"He's been wonderfully supportive of where we want to take the football club, and with Roger, he was the first person he sought out," Kearney said.

"That was a wonderful gesture in a trying circumstance."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon