Shaun Johnson for Valentine Holmes is a straight swap in quality as far as Chad Townsend is concerned and has lifted flagging spirits at 2016 NRL premiers Cronulla.
With the dust settling on a tumultuous three weeks for the Sharks, halfback Townsend welcomed the arrival of former playmaking partner Johnson on a three-season deal.
The pair were the Warriors halves in 2014-15, with Townsend wearing number six and playing largely as a five-eighth. Those roles are expected to reverse next season.
Townsend wouldn't divulge coach Shane Flanagan's playmaking plans in an interview with NZME, but confirmed this season's five-eighth, Matt Moylan, is poised to return to the fullback role he owned at Penrith.
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Johnson's signing was an enormous filip at a club firstly rocked by Holmes' departure to pursue his NFL dream and then having to address financial problems by reportedly laying off 10 office staff.
"That was probably a big shock for the group to lose Val and to lose our best player at that stage of the year," Townsend said. "It did go from a bit damp and a bit down to almost flipped on its head when we signed Shaun.
"To be able to secure a similar calibre player at that time of the season was a huge boost for us.
Townsend said he was "shocked" by Warriors' management announcing there was no 2020 contract for Johnson on the table, while the player was on tour with the Kiwis.
When reports the Sharks were chasing the disgruntled playmaker emerged, Townsend sent his former golfing partner a text, articulating the club's qualities.
He believed the 28-year-old would settle quickly to the Sydney lifestyle, but may take some time adjusting to the extra public and media scrutiny.
"Any time you move country and to a different place that's foreign to you, and you haven't had any experience of, is difficult," he said. "I can attest to that from when I moved to New Zealand.
"New Zealand media is pretty full-on, to be honest, but Sydney definitely is a rugby league hub.
"Obviously, a lot of focus is on the NRL here and especially with so many teams in Sydney, so he'll have to be on his best behaviour like the rest of us."