Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck wins Kiwis player award

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NZN

In-demand Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been named Kiwis player of the year at the annual awards.

New Zealand Kiwis fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck looks to break the tackle of Tongan interchange Peni Terepo during the Rugby League World Cup 2017 Pool B match between New Zealand Kiwis and Tonga played at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand on Saturday 11 November  2017.  

Copyright photo: © Bruce Lim / www.photosport.nz

New Zealand Kiwis fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck looks to break the tackle of Tongan interchange Peni Terepo during the Rugby League World Cup 2017 Pool B match between New Zealand Kiwis and Tonga played at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.

Source: Photosport

The dynamic fullback got the nod based on his attacking efforts in New Zealand's failed World Cup campaign, when they were eliminated by Fiji in the quarter-finals.

The award will do little to quell interest in 24-year-old Tuivasa-Sheck, who comes off contract with the Warriors this year and has been linked with several NRL clubs along with a potential switch to rugby union.

Kiwis coach David Kidwell, whose job is under review, said Tuivasa-Sheck's performances at the World Cup defied the knee injury that had sidelined him for a chunk of 2017.

"In some cases, it takes a fair amount of time for a player to get back to fine form following such a serious injury, but Roger did everything right and ultimately showed great leadership at the back," Kidwell said.

"He's a quality young man who was a pleasure to coach and I congratulate him for his impressive performances throughout the NRL season and at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup."

Kiwis Rookie of the Year was won by Melbourne Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona, who was also a finalist in the top category.

The women's player of the year was won by another fullback, Apii Nicholls-Pualau.

After an outstanding season with national champions Counties Manukau, Nicholls-Pualau was selected to fill the void of previous Kiwi Ferns captain and fullback, Sarina Fiso, who won 2016 Women's Player of the Year.

She topped the tournament for kick return metres at the women's World Cup racking up 279m.

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