Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been named in a 19-man New Zealand squad alongside right-side partner Shaun Kenny-Dowall and front rower Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in an all-hyphen Roosters representation.
Gievn his start to the year and his game on Friday, it’s easy to see why The Sheck has at least been given a look-in.
He has four line breaks, four tries and 20 tackle busts in just six games, and is part of a team that has been the best defensively over the past five rounds.
However, he might struggle to make the final squad. Also named are Josh Hoffman, Jason Nightingale, Sam Perrett and Dean Whare — and while you could argue that RTS is in better form than either Whare (likely to be named a centre) or Perrett, it would be a risk to go with a rookie over known quantities.
JWH makes a comeback to the squad after amazingly missing out last year despite a fantastic season when he was named Roosters player of the year. This year, he returns as the defensive leader of a squad that has stopped three teams from crossing the line already this season.
Kenny-Dowall also gets a call up despite some indifferent form this year.
Sonny Bill was unavailable for selection due to a knee injury he reportedly aggravated against the Bulldogs over the weekend. He’s been given a “Gel Injection” which takes seven days to recover from, according to a report. He should be back for the Anzac day clash against the Dragons.
New Zealand: Jesse Bromwich, Kieran Foran, Alex Glenn, Josh Hoffman, Shaun Johnson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Issac Luke, Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, Sam McKendry, Jason Nightingale, Sam Perrett, Frank Pritchard, Kevin Proctor, Jeremy Smith, Elijah Taylor, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dean Whare.
New Zealand will be without returning rugby league star Sonny Bill Williams, but coach Stephen Kearney says there’s still plenty of talent in the 19-strong squad named on Sunday for Friday’s Test against Australia.
Simon Mannering will captain his country for the first time in Canberra, leading a team which includes one of the NRL’s youngest guns in Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
The 19-year-old has handled first grade with such composure this year that his selection won’t surprise too many.
Tuivasa-Sheck first came to the attention of Kiwi league fans when captaining Otahuhu College to win the NZRL’s national secondary schools tournament in 2011 before playing for the Junior Kiwis last year.
“Roger has been on our radar for a while,” Kearney said.
“He’s a Kiwi with a very bright future.”
Tuivasa-Sheck will join teammates Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, all three having been in fine touch for a slick Sydney Roosters outfit.