'There was a real genuine interest' - Roger Tuivasa-Sheck reveals how close he came to making union switch

Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has opened up about how close he came to switching codes, having re-signed with the Auckland club last week.

Tuivasa-Sheck, 24, was heavily linked with a switch to rugby union, as he entered the final year of his deal with the Warriors, before putting pen to paper on a new four year deal last week.

The fullback had previously stated his interest in representing the All Blacks, having starred as a schoolboy in the 15-man code during his time with Otahuhu College and the NZ Schoolboy XV.

Speaking to Fox Sports, the Warriors captain revealed how close he came to switching to union, before opting to stay in the NRL.

"I was sitting down with my manager and going through a process of what my steps of going to rugby," he said.

The star fullback says he's looking to turn things around for the NZ club, who haven't made it to the NRL finals since 2011. Source: 1 NEWS

"I was counting how many players in front of me to hopefully make that World Cup squad. I had all those talks because there was a real genuine interest."

However, Tuivasa-Sheck also said that the ambition of leading the Warriors to an historic maiden premiership proved too great, resisting the urge to chase the black jersey.

"I had to get over myself and think about the bigger picture. I had to think about the challenge and opportunity here playing for the Warriors."

The All Blacks coach says the Warriors captain would be "a good player" in rugby union. Source: 1 NEWS

"I agreed to stay on and play. But definitely trying my best to get into the All Blacks side and going along to the World Cup next year would have been amazing."

"But the bigger picture of the challenge and opportunity with the Warriors is what drawn me."

1 NEWS understands his deal is worth around $4 million. 

Tuivasa-Sheck and the Warriors will begin the 2018 season against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Perth tomorrow night.

Roger Tuivasa Sheck makes a break: NRL rugby league, Warriors v Knights, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, Sunday 5 March, 2017. Photo: Renee McKay / www.photosport.nz
Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa Sheck makes a break against the Newcastle Knights. Source: Photosport

Storm skipper Cameron Smith reportedly agrees deal to play 18th NRL season

Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith has reportedly agreed to terms to play an 18th NRL season with the Storm, which will see him pass 400 games.

Ahead of their preliminary final against Cronulla in Melbourne next Friday night, Smith has put pen to paper, according to News Corp Australia.

The 35-year-old made clear through the season his intentions to play on in 2019 but chief executive Dave Donaghy confirmed the parties had reached agreement on Thursday on a $1 million deal.

The Australian captain is the most capped NRL player of all time with 382 appearances - barring injury the new contract will allow him to play past the 400-game mark.

The Storm are set to lose veterans Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman, who will retire at season's end, so Smith's extension is timely.

Storm skipper Cameron Smith celebrates his drop goal. Source: Getty



Chance to win Rugby Championship driving All Blacks for big win over Boks

The World Cup and Bledisloe Cup are prizes the All Blacks cherish most but they're using the Rugby Championship as motivation to beat the Springboks in Wellington.

Victory for Kieran Read's team will almost certainly hand them a sixth Rugby Championship crown in the seven editions since Argentina joined, expanding it to four teams.

What's more, they'll achieve it with two rounds to spare.

Veteran captain Read usually likes to focus on the process before the prize but admits locking away more silverware in their final home Test of 2018 carries a certain appeal.

"There's something pretty big at the end of the day, if we get it right on Saturday, around The Rugby Championship, so that's in our sights," he said.

"We'd love to do it in the four games but we can't get ahead of ourselves."

A bonus-point win on Saturday will guarantee a third-straight title to New Zealand, while a standard win will leave Australia or Argentina with a thin mathematical hope of finishing top.

The All Blacks haven't lost a Test in the championship since 2015 but Read insists it's not getting boring.

He doesn't anticipate anything like last year's 57-0 drubbing of South Africa, a result that cast a shadow over the nations' famed rivalry.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the seventh-ranked Springboks have appeared a unified group this year under new coach Rassie Erasmus.

The visitors would be on edge following losses to the Pumas in Mendoza and the Wallabies in Brisbane, he said.

"Very rarely do they lose twice in a row, let alone three times in a row so they'll be desperate," Hansen said.

"For us we have to make sure we get our house in order and we turn up. If that's the case then we could be in for one of those special Test matches."

The All Blacks captain says South Africa is special in their own way. Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: Kiwi Ferns star barges through Roosters defence to score for Broncos

Brisbane have all but cemented their spot in the NRLW final after overcoming some early nerves to convincingly beat the Sydney Roosters 14-4.

It was the Broncos' second win from as many matches and cemented their status as the team to beat in the inaugural women's competition at Allianz Stadium tonight.

Not even the return of Jillaroos prop Ruan Sims could inspire the Roosters, who are winless after two games and out of the running to advance.

To make matters worse, they could be without star centre Isabelle Kelly next week after a crusher tackle on Meg Ward midway through the second half.

The Broncos led 10-0 at halftime but the scoreline could have easily been reversed after the Roosters bombed two tries in the opening 13 minutes.

Back-rower Vanessa Foliaki looked certain to score before being held up by a desperate Chelsea Baker.

Roosters fullback Karina Brown also let a try go begging when she failed to ground a loose grubber, and from there the Broncos took control.

Ali Brigginshaw dummied her way through the line before Teuila Fotu-Moala crashed over five minutes later to give the Broncos a healthy lead at the break.

Fotu-Moala was sensational, running for 122m as well as making two linebreaks and four tackle busts.

Broncos centre Ward delivered the coup de grace seven minutes after halftime.

Kelly got the Roosters' only points when she crossed on the back of a weight of possession with two minutes remaining.

After their 30-4 romp over the Dragons last week, the Broncos are the only unbeaten side in the competition.

They would have to lose to the Warriors next week and have several results run against them to miss the final.