'It's news to me' - Tana Umaga shoots down Tuivasa-Sheck rumours

If Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck does make the switch to rugby union, it appears he won't be joining the Blues, with coach Tana Umaga playing down notions of signing the star fullback.

With Tuivasa-Sheck's current deal with the Warriors to expire at the end of 2018, speculation has been rife as to the superstar's next move, with a switch to rugby union just one mooted destination.

However, it appears Auckland-raised Tuivasa-Sheck will have to ply his trade with one of the other four New Zealand franchises, with the Blues appearing uninterested in his services.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, coach Tana Umaga said that there was nothing in place from his side to acquire Tuivasa-Sheck's signature.

"I've never talked to anyone (about him)," Umaga said.

"We have to put up with this in Auckland, everyone is meant to be coming to us.

"It's news to me."

Tuivasa-Sheck has also been linked with the likes of NRL sides the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Wests Tigers.

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

'You can't take anything for granted' - Kiwi star Bundee Aki stays humble after first try for Ireland

Ireland's Kiwi centre Bundee Aki was jubilant after scoring his first try for his adopted country in the 56-19 Six Nations win over Italy in Dublin this morning.

Starting in the number 13 jersey, Aki crashed over from close range for Ireland's thrid try of the match, breaking his try scoring duck in just his fourth Test match.

Speaking after the match, the former Chiefs and Counties Manukau star couldn't hide his happiness in helping his team register their second consecutive Six Nations victory.

"I was just so happy to be able to get over the line and help out the boys, and to get the score on the board was a bonus," Aki told SportsJOE.

"To get my first try for this team is something special."

However, Aki also conceded that he'll need to work hard to keep his place in the side, with stars like Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose to return to Ireland's ranks in the near future.

"As you can see on our team, there are a lot of quality players and you can't take anything for granted."

"You have to make sure you are putting your head down, working, improving and putting your hand up to take that spot again."



'Everyone wants to be supporting a winning team' - Warriors CEO urges fans to keep the faith in 2018

Warriors CEO Cameron George is urging the struggling side's fans to keep the faith, as the club continue their preparations for the 2018 NRL season.

Following a disastrous year, that saw the Warriors slump to an embarrassing club record nine straight defeats to end the season, the club's membership numbers have dropped by around 4,000 from this time 12 months ago.

Speaking to the Sunday Star Times, George urged fans to get behind the team, saying that things will improve after the lows of 2017.

"From my perspective and the organisation's perspective, we're working very hard off the field to make our experience on game day attractive," he said.

"For those that are still scratching their heads on whether or not they should support the team, the message I've got for them is very clear, that the boys on the field are going to represent them with passion and commitment.

"It's up to us to get them back to the stadium, we know that and we've prepared for that and we're going to go out and represent our fans and hopefully that grows our membership base through the season."

George also says that the organisation understand that only one thing will see fans return to Mt Smart Stadium for the new season: results on the pitch.

"Everyone wants to be supporting a winning team," George said.

"Our players know that and they take it very seriously.

"At the end of day we all have to win across the organisation to make it really attractive for people to become our members."

The Warriors begin their 2018 NRL campaign against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Perth on March 10.

The Kiwis' skipper won’t take the reins at his new club.
Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck Source: Photosport