NRL star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is reportedly considering a code-switch to rugby union.
The New Zealand Warriors captain has been approached by the Auckland Blues, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The report claims that Tuivasa-Sheck’s management has been contacted by the Blues to present him with a deal that gives him the option to stay in New Zealand as the Warriors contemplate a longer stay in Queensland for the 2021 NRL season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However the Blues would reportedly only be able to offer the Kiwi fullback a contract worth around $250,000 for one year, which is well beneath the nearly $1.2 million per season for the next two years that he is currently contracted on with the Warriors.
Even with the possibility of the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby providing an added financial boost, the pay cut is estimated at “50 per cent”. Test matches and rugby options in other countries remains in doubt due to international travel restrictions.
The NRL is on shaky ground at the moment with a spate of recent COVID-19 bubble breaches and outbreaks in NSW and Victoria adding to the headache for league bosses trying to keep the 2020 season afloat in unprecedented circumstances.
The Warriors are currently based in Redcliffe in Brisbane but they could remain there into next season as difficulty persists in trans-Tasman travel during the pandemic.
If the Warriors stay in Queensland that long, it would leave many without their families for an even longer period of time. Tuivasa-Sheck, 27, has two children and a partner based in Auckland.
According to the Herald, he “doesn’t want to play for another NRL club” despite the recent troubles at the club, including the shock sacking of coach Stephen Kearney.