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Wonder winger Tuivasa-Sheck ready to shine

New Zealand's Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been the stand-out winger of the Rugby League World Cup and is ready to crown his meteoric rise with victory against Australia in Saturday's final.
Wonder winger Tuivasa-Sheck ready to shine
by AAP

By Luke Phillips

MANCHESTER, England, Nov 29 AFP - New Zealand's Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been the stand-out winger of the Rugby League World Cup and is ready to crown his meteoric rise with victory against Australia in Saturday's final.

The 20-year-old's form this season in the NRL with the Sydney Roosters saw him this week awarded the title of best winger in the international federation's team of the year.

But the Samoa-born flyerr has admitted to pinching himself when he sees who he's rubbing shoulders with on the team bus.

"He's probably been our best player throughout the tournament," was Kiwi captain Simon Mannering's blunt assessment of Tuivasa-Sheck, who has overcome deep bruising to his lower leg to be fit for the Old Trafford showdown.

"It's his first Kiwi tour, his second year in the NRL and to be named best winger in the world is pretty special for a 20-year-old.

"He's such a level-headed kid and a good guy. It's a massive boost for the team that he'll be out there tomorrow."

Tuivasa-Sheck has certainly delivered on the pitch, scoring in every match for the Kiwis, including two in each of his last three games - eight tries in five matches overall.

Going into the final, he is the player who has made the most metres (774) and breaks (10).

"It's fantastic to make it to the World Cup final," said Tuivasa-Sheck, who attended Auckland's Otahuhu College, where he played both rugby codes and represented the New Zealand rugby union schoolboy team.

"The semi-final (a 20-18 victory over England) was good, I loved every moment of it. It was scary at times but I am happy that we won it.

"It was a crazy atmosphere, we couldn't hear our calls, we couldn't hear what the boys were saying, so we just had to use body language with each other."

Tuivasa-Sheck scored two tries in the dramatic last-gasp win over the English at Wembley last weekend, including one after an amazing blind offload by Dean Whare.




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