Tuivasa-Sheck feeling the strains of 2020

Warriors coach Todd Payten can see Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is struggling without his family beside him but says his captain has not yet requested to return home.

Tuivasa-Sheck was again one of the Warriors’ best in Friday’s win over the Wests Tigers, kicking expertly close to the line and running more than 230 metres.

But off the field, Payten can tell 2020 is taking its toll on the 27-year-old.

The fullback has two children under the age of three, and after the departures of four Warriors last week is now the only Kiwi in the squad not to have his family in camp.

“He’s probably doing it toughest out of all of us,” Payten said.

“I know he’s not content, he’s not satisfied – he’s a little bit muddled with his feelings.

“He’s always on his phone – it’s tough for him. He’s got to lead the club, lead a footy team.”

“Some days I can see the burden that he carries on his shoulders.”

It comes after David Fusitu’a, Ken Maumalo, Agnatius Paasi and King Vuniyayawa all returned home to their families in New Zealand last week, missing the rest of the season.

Payten said Tuivasa-Sheck had not spoken to him about wanting to return home, and he did not believe that would be his wish.

But he had urged the senior Warrior to apply to bring his family over, given he will have been separated from them for three months this week.

“I made the decision to bring my family over and I grabbed him and said ‘it’s been a weight off my shoulders and I think you should do the same’,” Payten said.

“I know his family has family at home which is a big help.

“But I know how I feel and there are just days when you need them around. Roger has said it openly that his family makes him happy.

“He’s a personable kid. In Auckland, he doesn’t go out a lot. He lives on the edge of town.

“Home is his sanctuary, he’s on his farm and likes to be home with his family.”

The Warriors captain could face another difficult decision later this year, if the Kiwis are able to schedule in end-of-year Tests.

Tuivasa-Sheck would be among the first picked, but given the difficulties entering New Zealand it’s likely any Tests against Tonga or the Kangaroos would need to be in Australia.

Assuming Tuivasa-Sheck returns home at the end of the NRL regular season, that would require him to enter two weeks’ quarantine again before playing if he wishes to run out.





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