Departing Roosters fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck says although he has had plenty of second thoughts about his decision to leave Bondi for Auckland, the poor form of his future club has nothing to do with why.
Tuivasa-Sheck stunned his clubmates and coaching staff with his decision earlier this year to return to his native New Zealand and join the Warriors on a lucrative three-year deal. Since then the Roosters have surged to a third straight minor premiership with hopes of a second major title in three years.
Meanwhile the Warriors disintegrated after losing halfback Shaun Johnson to a season-ending ankle fracture, slumping to eight straight defeats to again highlight the fragility of one of the most enigmatic and inconsistent clubs in the NRL.
Tuivasa-Sheck this week told NRL.com he had had "heaps" of second thoughts since first announcing the deal but they were purely related to the close bond he shared with his current teammates rather than concerns his future club may not threaten for a title.
He added he is not yet contemplating the fact that each game could be his last in red, white and blue – rather it is during the little moments at training when he realises how much he will miss his current club.
"I'm still getting excited to come in and play with the boys but it's more the training days I'm getting worried about [thinking] 'these could be my last training days', more than the games," Tuivasa-Sheck said.
"I want to make sure I perform every little thing to my best and I want to keep showing the boys that I'm here for them and I want to play hard and put in all I can.
"I had heaps [of second thoughts after signing with the Warriors]. I'd come to training and at small moments of us hanging out. Then we'd play and I'd think 'this is such a good team, hey?'
"Then I'd have moments like that of 'why am I leaving, why should I leave this forward pack?' But then again I go home to my own little world at home and I see this decision is right for my family and it's what I've got to do."
The Warriors are expected to be one of the big improvers next year given the arrivals of Tuivasa-Sheck and Rabbitohs rake Issac Luke, giving them three quarters of the New Zealand Test spine, coupled with the development of young stars like Tui Lolohea, Albert Vete, Solomone Kata and Sam Lisone.
But Tuivasa-Sheck said he hadn't given any thought yet to the expectations that would be placed on the incoming recruits.
"I don't think it's my job or anything on me yet, I need a pre-season to work all that out and before that I have a job here and then hopefully play for the Kiwis at the end of the year too [on a three-Test tour to England]. That's all the little stuff I want to do before," he said.
The 22-year-old added he was "not really" concerned about another late-season fade-out from the Warriors this year.
"I watch most of their games but I don't really [read much] into how they were, I think they're a good bunch of boys and they know what they need to do themselves before any of us come over."
For now though, Tuivasa-Sheck simply can't wait to get up to Brisbane on Wednesday and to rip in at Suncorp on Friday night now that confidence has returned for the Roosters following last week's 38-12 trouncing of the Bulldogs.
"I'll be prepping like I usually do and just go all out like it's my last," he grinned, despite having no intentions of this weekend's game being his final one for the Tricolours.