Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is never satisfied.

Acknowledged as the best player in the game last year — with his historic Dally M medal, the first achieved by a Warrior — he just wants to get better.

A lot better. There's been plenty of laurels, but no resting.

Ahead of this pre-season, he quizzed the coaching staff on where he can improve, how he can add more layers to his game.


Out of those discussions came a desire to develop a kicking game — which he has never really had — and his playmaking skills, vital in the absence of Shaun Johnson.

"I was told I was a real good player in our half," said Tuivasa-Sheck. "Returning the ball, getting yards, eating metres up … that's my area. But when it got to the scoring tries, and the setting up, that's where I can improve my game."

Former Storm and Kangaroos fullback Billy Slater was the gold standard in that area. He came into the game as a spectacular broken field runner and master of reeling in offloads and left it recognised as a dangerous ball-player, especially with his cut out passes on either flank.

"Getting tries, and try assists, that is what I am looking to be better at this year," said Tuivasa-Sheck. "If it means putting someone through the hole, or kicking through for another player that is the game that I want to improve on. I'll also be working on trying to put [David] Fusitu'a in the corner, usually, it is Shaun doing that role."

Tuivasa-Sheck is also developing his skills with the boot. It's not really something he has ever needed, as at the Roosters and Warriors other members of the spine looked after the general kicking duties.

"I've been working a lot on my kicking game and having that as an asset, popping it in the corner or a running kick, or a chip," said Tuivasa-Sheck.

"It's really got serious to the point where I am working with Stacey [Jones], who has a great kicking game and trying to make sure it is added to my game."

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Photo /Getty
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Photo /Getty

Continuous improvement has been a mantra of Tuivasa-Sheck since his teens when he would arrive early at training and do extras with his father, and it's never stopped.


"He's the ultimate professional, always looking to get better in different ways," said Blake Green. "There are so many different one per centers that he has worked on. That's why he is our leader. You get the same from him every day. Doesn't matter if we are on the field, off the field, in the gym. That's him."

The 25-year-old is cemented as the Warriors skipper — and is likely to be a long term leader — but it's easy to forget now that he was a surprise choice for captain two years ago.

That 2017 campaign didn't go well, and Tuivasa-Sheck was at the crossroads last summer, seriously considering a move away from Mt Smart.

Thankfully he stayed, and become the focal point of a historic Warriors season, with more than 3,800 running metres, 10 try assists, three tries and numerous vital plays.

The captaincy, which seemed such a burden in 2017, sits better now.

"I'm still learning a lot, and I've been lucky with the players around me," said Tuivasa-Sheck. "Most of the time I keep reminding myself, I need to be a player first. The biggest rule I go by is if you are not showing it on the field then you can't be telling the boys how to do it.

"That is the biggest fear as a captain; is being known as someone who spoke a lot but didn't back it up. So I keep reminding myself to be making sure I am ticking my boxes before I can push the team to tick theirs … that's my big thing."

If anything, Tuivasa-Sheck has even more responsibility on his shoulders this season, to help fill the vacuum left by Johnson in the spine.

"I seriously don't feel any pressure or any more expectation than what I have on myself," said Tuivasa-Sheck. "I want to do my role as best as I can [but] I don't feel like there is more expectation."