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Rugby News: RTS responds to NRL 'whisper', gets new role, Eddie Jones' warning after try glut, Rassie's return

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2nd October, 2022
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Roger Tuivasa-Scheck has moved to end speculation he could return to the NRL from rugby union.

All Blacks great John Kirwan raised the possibility on a New Zealand TV rugby show last weekend, saying there was a “little whisper” of a contract available from the Sydney Roosters while urging the national team to play Tuivasa-Scheck more.

His comments came after the 2018 NRL Dally M Medallist made the second of just two 10-minute cameo appearances for the All Blacks so far this year in their demolition of the Wallabies to clinch The Rugby Championship.

However 29-year-old former Roosters and Warriors fullback Tuivasa-Scheck made it clear he was committed to rugby union, at least till after the 2023 Rugby World Cup.   

“Hey team, hearing a return to NRL and Sydney Roosters. As much as I enjoyed it there, I won’t be heading back. Signed sealed delivered till the end of 2023,” Tuivasa-Sheck posted on his Instagram story on Saturday night.   

The ex-Warriors skipper has impressed observers with his potential and commitment since making the switch to union last year, playing as an inside centre for the Auckland-based Blues in Super Rugby.

The All Blacks’ early patchy form and losses this year probably cost him more playing minutes with the national team to date in 2022. 

Tuivasa-Sheck was used as a winger in Saturday’s match for Auckland in a 38-24 win against Taranaki at Eden Park.

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He was named in the No 12 jersey, but he began on the right wing.

“In wet and windy conditions that did not favour flowing back play, Tuivasa-Sheck had to be patient for opportunities with ball in hand,” wrote Paul Cully for stuff.co.nz.

“However, he was accurate and purposeful in everything he did, putting his footwork to good use when returning the ball from deep or popping up during phase play.”

‘The commitment to make a tackle is important’

England’s Premiership season has kicked off with a glut of tries but Eddie Jones isn’t celebrating, warning that players will be dropped if they are vulnerable in defence.

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The opening three rounds of the competition have seen the tryline breached 141 times, but Jones sees danger in this attacking success as he plans for an autumn campaign that includes Tests against New Zealand and South Africa.

Backs in particular have been told that they neglect a critical element of the game in pursuit of tries at their peril.

“The commitment to make a tackle is important in rugby and the players that we select will have to be committed to make them. Players that don’t won’t get picked,” Jones said.

“You saw how important it was in the Rugby Championship and on the summer tours, especially now that the ball is spread more than two passes only 30 per cent of the time.

“The ability to make an effective tackle not only stops the opposition going forward, but also creates a transition opportunity or a turnover opportunity, so backs who can take the legs away from the opposition are so important.

“We will be looking for players that are productive with the ball and without the ball.”

England open their autumn campaign against Argentina on November 6.

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Rassie’s return

Springboks World Cup winning coach Rassie Erasmus is back in the game after his lengthy stadium ban.

He celebrated the on of his ban from all match day activities set down last November by attending Saturday’s URC win by the Stormers over Edinburgh in Cape Town.

The South African director of rugby was banned over his actions after a series against the British and Irish Lions where he unleashed a long tirade against Australian referee Nic Berry in a 62-minute video.

Erasmus will be back with the Springboks on match day when they start their Spring Tour commitments against Ireland on November 5.

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