David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

NRL: Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck Tuivasa-Sheck out of Bulldogs clash

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was substituted against the Storm after suffering a head knock. Photo / photosport.nz
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was substituted against the Storm after suffering a head knock. Photo / photosport.nz

The Warriors may have the best spine in the NRL but they are struggling to get all of their key playmakers on the park, with captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ruled out of Friday's round three NRL clash against the Bulldogs in Dunedin.

The 23-year-old fullback has failed to recover from a concussion which forced him from the field in the first half of last Friday's 26-10 defeat to Melbourne.

He sat out the rest of the match after failing the NRL's requisite head injury assessment and his condition continued to be monitored this week, but another failed test today means he'll be sidelined for at least another week.

Versatile back Tui Lolohea will wear the No1 jersey against the Bulldogs after initially being named in the Warriors' extended reserves and last year's skipper Ryan Hoffman will captain the side in Tuivasa-Sheck's absence.

"Roger has been through the concussion protocols as required and hasn't been cleared to play," said Warriors coach Stephen Kearney.

"Ryan is a natural choice (as captain). He's one of our leaders and is well versed in the demands of the role."

The loss of Tuivasa-Sheck is a blow to the Warriors who, despite having the Kiwis test spine on their books, have been unable to get all of their big names on the field together for extended periods.

Tuivasa-Sheck, along with hooker Issac Luke, arrived as marquee signings last year, but the former Sydney Roosters premiership winner made only seven appearances before suffering a season-ending ACL injury in April.

The addition of five-eighth Kieran Foran for this season is yet to pay dividends, with the NRL suspending him for the first two rounds and a slower-than-expected recovery from shoulder surgery further delaying his highly anticipated debut.

The scenario is made more unpalatable following Tuivasa-Sheck's commanding early season form, which provided a glimpse of the side's undoubted attacking potential together with a fully fit Luke and halfback Shaun Johnson.

After building his confidence in the preseason trials, Tuivasa-Sheck turned in a terrific performance in the round one win over Newcastle, topping the running metres with 251 from 21 carries while making several threatening runs to get his side on the front foot.

The Warriors attack suffered noticeably following his departure in the 27th minute against the Storm and the home side failed to add to their score throughout the remainder of the match.

Lolohea was expected to turn out for the Warriors' reserve grade side in Saturday's clash against Wests Tigers in Sydney and will likely come in for close inspection from the Bulldogs following two patchy defensive displays against Newcastle and Melbourne.

Back-up No7 Mason Lino has also been omitted from the initial 21-man squad and will travel across the Tasman to play at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday.

- NZ Herald

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