New Zealand Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck may be leaving the NRL at the end of the year but he has shown once again that he’s one of a kind.
A Dally M winner and one of the best fullbacks in the NRL, Tuivasa-Sheck was put on the wing in order to allow 18-year-old debutant Reece Walsh to take the fullback role, before he leaves the sport at the end of the year.
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It was an impressive sacrifice from Tuivasa-Sheck with Walsh joining the club just a matter of weeks ago from the Brisbane Broncos.
It was revealed as early as Monday night by Warriors consultant Phil Gould who said that “Roger went up to the coach Nathan Brown and said ‘I’ll play another position if you want to put him in, that’s what sort of team man he is.”
Don’t go to rugby Roger!Source:Getty Images
Walsh impressed with 14 runs for 89m, one line break assist, two try assists and five tackle breaks in the 42-20 loss to the Melbourne Storm.
Post-game, Warriors coach Nathan Brown said that Tuivasa-Sheck was set to do kick-return in defence, but play first or second receiver in attack.
But Brown also said that it was the “perfect time” for Walsh to get his debut, because it’s one of the hardest places to play.
Brown said he wanted the news that to “keep it away from you characters” but that Walsh was always going to debut.
Walsh was emotional post-game but had nothing but kind words to say about the Warriors skipper.
“I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life and to have all my family here, it means everything,” he said. “I’ve got my little baby here Layla, four weeks old, it means the world.”
Walsh wiped tears away when his family performed a haka in the stands at the end of the game.
His family performed a haka for him.Source:FOX SPORTS
Reece Walsh wipes away a tear.Source:FOX SPORTS
Walsh said he’d known about Tuivasa-Sheck’s gesture since Monday and said he’s already learned plenty from the superstar fullback.
“I came in Monday and Browny asked me if I feel ready to play,” he said.
“I was confident and said ‘yeah’. From the start of the week, we just prepped the whole time. We didn’t let the media know until an hour before and it was probably just a good thing that the opposition didn’t know until the last minute.
“I’ve only been here two weeks and I’ve learned so much from him (Tuivasa-Sheck) and I’ve learned so much from him in this two weeks, more than I have for the whole year. He’s a big influence on myself and on the players around him. I can’t wait to keep getting those little things off him and maybe one day becoming as good as him.”
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