NRL: Warriors set to dump halfback Shaun Johnson

Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson.
Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson. Photo credit: Photosport

Shaun Johnson could be the biggest name on the NRL free-agency market, with reports circulating that the Warriors haven't offered the halfback a contract extension beyond 2019.

NZME claims the star halfback's time with the Warriors could be coming to an end, as the club is believed to have told him to look elsewhere.

The 28-year-old signed the two-year deal, reportedly worth seven figures a season, last year, but sources have told NZME, that the club doesn't want to pay the same amount of money to keep him beyond 2020.

If he wants to remain at the club, he'd have to take a reduced deal, similar to what Issac Luke signed to stay with the Auckland-based club.

Johnson is currently in England with the New Zealand national side, as it prepares for three tests against the English.

Speaking to NZME, CEO Cameron George kept his cards close to his chest about Johnson's future with the Warriors.

"The club is open-minded about the future, and we'll talk to Shaun and his management when he gets back from overseas about the future," said George.

"We're very open-minded and with any recruitment decisions, it's about the team and the club first.

"But whilst we're being open-minded about the future, we're not going to be scared to make big calls on any player.

"We want to win the competition and we'll be doing everything recruitment-wise to get the best people in the club to do so.

"We are not scared about making any big calls on our roster, because we want to win this competition and everyone's always under review."

Several playmakers come off contract at the end of next season, with Luke Brooks, Mitchell Moses, Corey Norman, Te Maire Martin and former Warrior Ata Hingano all set to become free agents in 2020.

None of them are as experienced as Johnson, but would come much cheaper.

Johnson made his NRL debut with the Warriors in 2011, when he helped the club to the Grand Final.

Meanwhile, reports out of Australia say the Warriors have found their replacement for Mason Lino, with Panthers reserve-grade halfback Adam Keighran signing with the club on a two-year deal.