By Josh Barrowcliff, Date: 22/11/13
New Zealand head coach Stephen Kearney has named his 19 man squad to play England at Wembley Stadium on Saturday (13:00).
New Zealand wing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is determined to improve his game by learning from the Kiwis’ experienced squad ahead of his side’s Rugby League World Cup 2013 semi-final Big Hit at Wembley on Saturday (3.30pm).
The 20-year-old has been one of the stand-out stars of the RLWC2013, scoring six tries in four appearances so far. The reigning champions are one step away from another title shot and the youngster is doing everything he can to make sure they go all the way.
“It is definitely not easy but I am working as hard as I can,” said Tuivasa-Sheck. “There is so much to learn from all of the big boys and we have a very good forward pack so that makes the difference.
“I am the youngest in the camp and there are a lot of guys here that have so much experience for me to use to get better. Each day I just make sure that I am talking to them and picking up on anything that I can.
“Manu Vatuvei is someone that I really look up to and in training and in the matches we feed off each other’s’ ability, it is just so surreal that I’m playing with guys like him because he was my idol growing up.
The Sydney Roosters winger expects a stern test from England and acknowledges his father for developing the skills which have seen him give some eye-catching displays in the competition so far.
“I thought that we played really, really well against Scotland, unfortunately it was not a great end to the game for me because I got hit pretty hard on the ribs,” said Tuivasa-Sheck.
“Playing England will definitely be a huge challenge, throughout the course of the tournament they have been scoring well. Some of their players are very experienced, so the young players have a figure to look up to which is very important if you want to succeed. Overall I am very excited to play them.
“A lot of my game comes from my dad, he taught me all of the steps while I was playing touch rugby in New Zealand. I still play it back at home during the off-season in our family touch tournament, it is great fun.
“Being called up to the World Cup is a dream come true for me, I had a good season with Sydney Roosters winning the Premiership so to be here is brilliant.”
Tickets for the Rugby League World Cup Big Hit semi-final at Wembley on Saturday (1.00pm) are still available from as little as £20 for adults and £10 for concessions. To purchase your tickets, please either visit www.eticketing.co.uk/rlwc or call our 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 08448472013.
New Zealand team to take on England
Sonny Bill Williams