Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will finish his Vodafone Warriors career this week to enable him to return home before the Government completely pauses its Covid-19 travel bubble with Australia for at least eight weeks.
“We’re hugely sympathetic to Roger’s position,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.
“The Government paused the travel bubble last week and announced it was giving New Zealanders seven days to return home. The reality is the border might be closed for more than eight weeks.
“Roger is going to rugby union with our blessing but if we require him to see out the rest of his contract he won’t be able to return home until at least the end of September and maybe a lot later. It would seriously impact on his ability to make his start in union and we wouldn’t want to see that happen.
“We were so excited about the chance of Roger being farewelled at Mount Smart Stadium on August 15. It would have been so fitting.
“It’s disappointing for everyone that there can’t be a better end to a wonderful career but these are the times we’re living in. Our hands are tied.”
Tuivasa-Sheck joined the Vodafone Warriors in 2016 after making 84 appearances for the Sydney Roosters.
He missed last Saturday’s clash against South Sydney after being concussed in the club’s encounter with Penrith (the only match he has missed this year).
Tuivasa-Sheck finishes with 111 games and 30 tries in his six seasons with the Vodafone Warriors. Overall he has made 195 NRL appearances and scored 58 tries.
This season he became only the second player to lead the Vodafone Warriors 100 times. His final match against Penrith was his 104th as the club’s captain. Earlier he played his 100th game for the Vodafone Warriors in the 20-14 win over St George Illawarra.
Tuivasa-Sheck became the first Vodafone Warriors player to win the coveted Dally M Medal in 2018 and he was awarded with the top international player’s award – the Golden Boot – in 2019.
He is the only player to win the Vodafone Warriors’ player of the year accolade in three consecutive seasons (2017, 2018 and 2019).