NZRL fail to nominate Dally M winner Tuivasa-Sheck for Halbergs

New Zealand Rugby League appear to have dropped the ball in failing to nominate the NRL's top player, Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, for the Halberg Sports Awards.

Tuivasa-Sheck won the National Rugby League's prestigious Dally M player of the year award - the first time a Warriors' player has won the prize in the club's 24 year history.

RNZ asked New Zealand Rugby League why Tuivasa-Sheck was not nominated by them for the Halbergs and their initial repsonse was that as Tuivasa-Sheck was injured and didn't play for the Kiwis in 2018, he couldn't be nominated.

When it was pointed out an athlete didn't have to be playing for a national side to be nominated the NZRL then replied:

"With one of the criteria being was the achievement in that sport's pinnacle event? ie. World Cup and another criteria being "was it a world record, or world ranking, or world recognition ie. World Player of the Year" - this makes nominating our players very tough."

"Two criteria which we do not meet having not won a World Cup or World Player of the Year award."

However that's not the case either as the Halberg critieria clearly states milestone events come in for consideration too.

"A Milestone event is the most significant event in a sports annual competition calendar. This includes annual World Championships and annual world level or domestic events."

The NRL would certainly seem to be covered by the criteria.

Other nominees in the Sportsman of the Year award that are covered by that clause are Scott McLaughlin who won the Australian V8 Supercar series, US Indycar champion Scott Dixon.

The Halberg Trust said "nominations come primarily from the national sports organisations - so NZ Rugby League in this case - and they haven't put any forward this year."

The Warriors could have nominated Tuivasa-Sheck but would have needed the support of the NZRL to do so. However a Warriors spokesman said that agree with NZRL's approach.

Having Tuivasa-Sheck among the finalist for New Zealand's top sporting gongs would certainly have been a boost for the Warriors who are still picking up the pieces after the messy departure of long time playmaker Shaun Johnson who was given an early release from the final year of his contract and is now with the Cronulla Sharks.

The Halberg Trust's own nominations committee could have nominated Tuivasa-Sheck on its own accord but a trust spokeswoman said it was now too late to do that as the nominations dates had passed.