Kearney fends off Tuivasa-Sheck talk

08 February 2018 19:55:51 GMTPlus10

Wests Tigers want to sign Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, but New Zealand Warriors coach Stephen Kearney says he's not concerned by the speculation.

Tuivasa-Sheck will be out of contract later this year and has been linked with several NRL rivals, as well as a possible move to rugby union.

It's not a distraction, it's part of the business.

Stephen Kearney

The Warriors, though, are playing down the reports, with Kearney saying they were "part and parcel of the business" of rugby league.

He says he's unconcerned by the chatter over Tuivasa-Sheck's future, and has pronounced himself "comfortable" with the pace of the Auckland club's contract negotiations with the player and his agent Bruce Sharrock.

"If I was looking for a full-back and didn't have a full-back and there was a space, I'd be talking to Roger too," said Kearney. "That's part and parcel of the business.

"It's not a distraction, it's part of the business. It was the same issue last year with Shaun (Johnson) and it'll be the same next year with someone else."

Tuivasa-Sheck's form was one of the big positives for the Warriors last season, as he scored 10 tries and played 23 games.

Wests Tigers are understood to have contacted Sharrock to register their interest in him. They want the former Roosters full-back to be the long-term replacement for James Tedesco.

They face stiff opposition for his signature, though, with South Sydney reportedly interested in him.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George remains hopeful the captain will re-sign.

"We have had open, honest and frank discussions about what we're trying to achieve and the timeframe in which we could do that," he said. "He's a massive part of that for us and he knows that."

The Warriors are 1.25 to finish in the NRL top eight, while they are 1.85 to finish with under 9.5 wins in the regular season.

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