Warriors prize recruit Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has shot down suggestions his brilliance will be dulled by the Auckland club’s allegedly unprofessional culture.
The New Zealand Test fullback arrives from the Sydney Roosters saddled with the expectation of recreating his stellar 2015 form and dragging the club out of the mire.
The Warriors were forced to defend their culture after they fell from the top four to finish outside the eight following eight consecutive losses to end the season.
Coach Andrew McFadden goes into 2016 with pressure mounting on him after the side underachieved last year.
Some have questioned whether Tuivasa-Sheck could recreate his brilliant 2015 which saw him run for a competition-high average of 215 metres per game and produce 148 tackle busts, the second most of any player.
Tuivasa-Sheck was noted by teammates at the Roosters for being one of the strongest trainers and his sharp rise was attributed to his meticulous preparation and dedication.
However Tuivasa-Sheck played down suggestions the Warriors lacked the environment in which he could flourish and backed himself to find his best at his new home.
“I feel like it’s been pretty professional,” Tuivasa-Sheck said.
“I’ve contacted Balin (Cupples) who’s our head trainer and he’s hooked me up with a speed coach. I’m doing that and I feel pretty professional. I’m doing my own speed sessions afterwards and I’ve watched a few of the training sessions and the boys have been going good.
“(Fellow recruit) Issac Luke arrived on Monday and he’s back at training and he said it’s been pretty solid and I trust him.”
Warriors fans are expecting big things following the recruitment of Kiwi internationals Tuivasa-Sheck and Luke and have been installed by bookmakers are fourth favourites for next year’s premiership.
Tuivasa-Sheck said he wasn’t taking notice of the pressure being put on him and backed himself to continue his upward trajectory.
“You come to the club and you hear that around. But I think I’m just trying to fit in and proud to be part of the Warriors,” Tuivasa-Sheck said.
“I think I’ve just got to try to maintain what I’ve been doing and work hard and if I do my best that’s all I can do.”