Tuivasa-Sheck will be a top class full-back, says Slater

Australia and Melbourne star Billy Slater believes Kiwi international Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is destined to become one of the NRL’s best full-backs, after it was announced he will take over Sydney Roosters’ number one shirt when Anthony Minichiello retires at the end of this season.

Billy Slater
Billy Slater

Tuivasa-Sheck, 21, has spent much of his short career on the wing, helping the Roosters to Premiership glory last season and winning the Dally M award for winger of the year in the process. He was also impressive at the World Cup before picking up an injury.

Since Minichiello announced he was to hang up his boots, Tuivasa-Sheck has spent a lot of time deputising for the Australian at full-back and Slater, widely regarded as the world’s best in the position currently, believes being taken under Minichiello’s wing will see the youngster flourish.

“He’s probably had the best transition that I’ve seen a young fullback coming into first grade have, over his last season or two,” Slater said.

“Minichiello was one guy that I took a lot of tips off. His strengths were his work ethic and how many runs he’d have and how much he was involved. When I was a young fella coming through, that’s what I took off him.

“Obviously Tuivasa-Sheck is learning off the best there. Obviously his talents are there to see for everyone.

“But I think given the opportunity that he has got learning off Anthony Minichiello over the last 24 months is certainly a great opportunity and one that he certainly should cherish.”