NRL: Shaun Johnson reportedly requests release from Warriors

Johnson wants out of his last year at Mt Smart.
Johnson wants out of his last year at Mt Smart. Photo credit: Photosport

Star half Shaun Johnson has reportedly requested a release from the final year of his Warriors contract, which would end his time at Mt Smart.

The club had earlier advised the 28-year-old that it would not rush to offer him a contract extension beyond 2019 and that he should start surveying his options on the open market.

According to NZME, Johnson and his agent met with Warriors CEO Cameron George and coach Stephen Kearney on Wednesday morning to request an immediate parting of ways.

But the Warriors declined Johnson's request and are adamant the playmaker will complete the final year of his contract with the side.

Several NRL clubs are rumoured to be pursuing Johnson's signature, including the champion Sydney City Roosters and the Cronulla Sharks.

The Sharks have consierable salary cap space to fill, after superstar Valentine Holmes' departure to pursue his NFL dream.

The Parramatta Eels are also believed to be in play, in a scenario that would see a straight swap with Mitchell Moses.

The Warriors are understood to be on the hunt for a replacement for Johnson, but haven't ruled out an attempt to re-sign him.

If Johnson were to stay on beyond 2019, it'd likely be at a rate far less than the seven-figures he'll command next season as one of the side's marquee players.

A poster boy for the Auckland-based club, Johnson has been part of the Warriors programme dating back to 2009, when he played under-20s and went on to make his NRL debut in 2011 against the Sydney Roosters.

Since then, he has become the club's highest points scorer and is one of the team's most-capped players with 162 appearances.

The development comes a day after he took to social media in an attempt to clarify his stance.

"There is no contract for me to sign past 2019," said Johnson in a Facebook post.

"If you saw the article that came out a few weeks back, in a round-about way, they said they are in no rush to re-sign me. Since then, they have told me again, at this stage, they won't be offering me anything.

"That means I get to spread my wings and see what's out there, so right now, that's what I'm doing!"

Newshub.