NRL 2021: NZ Warriors players reject potential Shaun Johnson return

  • 29/04/2021

NZ Warriors players have reportedly dismissed a potential return from former club stalwart Shaun Johnson.

In 2018, the Kiwis playmaker left the team after eight seasons to join Cronulla Sharks, where he's since rediscovered some of his best form. His contract with the Sydney-based club expires at the end of this year.

According to Fox's NRL 360 show, the Warriors have been approached by Johnson's management about rejoining them for 2022.

But after consultation with the Warriors senior leadership group, the answer was an emphatic "no"

"Johnson through his management has offered himself back to the Warriors," journalist Paul Kent told NRL 360.

"The Sharks have already said that although Johnson is after two years at $1.6million. The Sharks have said we’ll give you one year at half that price.

"His management has gone back to Warriors and said 'are you interested?' The club then went to the senior players and said 'are you guys keen to get him back'.

"They said: 'thanks, but no thanks'. That's the way it was put to me."

After moving through the Warriors development ranks to become a fan favourite, Johnson left Mt Smart on bad terms due to a reported fallout with then-head coach Stephen Kearney and former general manager of football Brian Smith.

The 30-year-old is currently working his way back from an achilles tendon injury that has sidelined him since September.

The injury drew a devastating conclusion to a sparkling debut season with the Sharks, with Johnson steering the side to the NRL finals and putting his name in Dally M medal contention.

Johnson has also been linked with a move to Brisbane Broncos.

"Shaun Johnson is going to market, but we know that Brisbane are big believers in him and are keen to get him," Kent adds.

"It's looking more and more that he might be heading north.

"Shaun Johnson is different to Mitchell Moses (who has also been linked to Brisbane) he'd be more prepared to go to Brisbane at this stage of his career."

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