Roosters to get Roger Tuivasa-Sheck off wing

BEN HORNE
Last updated 14:42 20/03/2014
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
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ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK: "It's good to get in the middle and touch the ball. It's pretty tough being asked if I'm next fullback when the fullback we have already is already performing."

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Waiting for Anthony Minichiello to retire is like leaving the porch light on for Harold Holt.

It's the same analogy the great Jack Gibson used to describe waiting for the Cronulla Sharks to win a premiership.

But it also describes what Sydney Roosters flyer Roger Tuivasa-Sheck must feel like at times, as he continues to serve his open-ended apprenticeship on the wing, marking time until the NRL's indestructible man, Minichiello, finally hangs up his boots.

It's a balancing act for Roosters coach Trent Robinson.

He has a club legend in Minichiello, who starred in last year's grand final, scored a hat-trick last week and has done nothing to deserve a demotion.

But on the other hand he has one of the most exciting talents in the NRL in Tuivasa-Sheck, who can't stay a bridesmaid forever.

It's a dilemma, but hardly a bad one to have as his team prepares to take on Brisbane on Friday night.

If the opening two rounds are any indication, the plan is for Minichiello to continue wearing the No.1, but spend less and less time at the back as the year goes on.

Robinson wants to utilise Tuivasa-Sheck's explosive speed and dynamic footwork in the middle, and not have him twiddling his thumbs on the wing.

The New Zealand star will swap with Minichiello most regularly in the second half, when forwards are tired and quick play-the-balls are needed.

For all his talent, Tuivasa-Sheck is as humble as they come, and rather than feeling impatient, he believes his prolonged stint learning from Minichiello will be a long-term benefit.

However, he admits he was getting itchy feet on the wing.

"I feel more involved. I make calls and move the boys around ... I feel more comfortable with that," said Tuivasa-Sheck.

"It's good to get in the middle and touch the ball.

"It's pretty tough being asked if I'm next fullback when the fullback we have already is already performing.

"I'm building a lot of confidence for when I do get back there. Robbo has been doing it one step at a time, and hopefully the day comes and I'll have the knowledge to be able to do it."

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