New Zealand Warriors coach Nathan Brown believes Roger Tuivasa-Sheck giving the NRL club time to find his replacement is the positive of his impending switch to rugby union.
The Warriors captain has been granted an early release to quit the NRL club at the end of the 2021 season and take up a multi-year offer with New Zealand Rugby.
While having to deal with Tuivasa-Sheck’s looming exit is hardly an ideal start to Brown’s tenure at the Warriors, the former St George Illawarra and Newcastle coach is thankful the switch isn’t immediate.
“It wasn’t a shock or a surprise,” Brown told AAP.
“Roger’s obviously explored the option before but the timing wasn’t right so it wasn’t something to come out of the blue.
“The real positive, and everyone’s grateful, Roger’s given us plenty of time to find a replacement. He just didn’t spring it on the club.”
Tuivasa-Sheck is entering his sixth season with the Warriors and provided crucial leadership last year as the club played the entire campaign in Australia due to COVID-related border restrictions.
The Warriors will once again be based in Australia during 2021, and Brown is looking forward to working with the two-time Dally M fullback as talent scout Peter O’Sullivan is charged with finding the man to replace Tuivasa-Sheck for 2022 and on.
“We know Roger will perform well,” Brown said.
“Now as a club it’s our job to find a replacement whose not going to obviously bring the same attributes that Rog has because he’s got some gifts that not many have got, but who’ll bring different things to the table.
“That’s football teams and football clubs and how they evolve.”