NRL: NZ Warriors star Shaun Johnson returns from injury against Melbourne Storm, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck given more time

NZ Warriors star Shaun Johnson will return to the field against Melbourne Storm, but centre Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will be kept back for another week, as coach Andrew Webster staggers changes to his in-form team.

Johnson has been sidelined a month with a shoulder injury suffered against Sydney Roosters, but was close to selection last week and will be named to make his comeback against the tabletopping Storm at Go Media Stadium on Saturday.

Webster suggests the time away has helped his veteran half return to near full health, after carrying a niggly Achilles injury for several weeks. Johnson was suiting up to play with very limited practice time under his belt, but his forced layoff may prove a blessing in disguise.

Shaun Johnson at training.
Shaun Johnson at training. Photo credit: Photosport

"He's got some really good reps over the past two weeks," said Webster. "He trained well over the weekend and trained well again today.

"The pec has healed up really well and the Achilles is tracking well too.

"There's always a silver lining, isn't there? You're forced to make decisions and those decisions end up being the right ones.

"You get to showcase somebody else and they're confident. The player returns with confidence and Shaun just wants to fit in with what the team needs - I think you've got a threat both sides of the field."

Johnson's absence has thrust more responsibility on halves partner Te Maire Martin, who became the main playmaker in three straight wins against champions Penrith Panthers, the Dolphins and North Queensland Cowboys.

Webster is determined that Martin should continue to get the opportunities he has enjoyed during that streak, which was preceded by four consecutive losses and a draw, when things weren't quite clicking. 

"He's not going to be stuck out on the left - Melbourne can know that now," he said.

Chanel Harris-Tavita, who played five-eighth against the Dolphins and Cowboys, will take an interchange role with Johnson's reinstatement.

After healing a hamstring strain, Tuivasa-Sheck will be named on an extended bench against the Storm, but Webster really hopes to give him more a little time, as he did with Johnson.

"We'll probably give Roger one more week with some reps," he said. "We'll name him in the 22 just in case, but we want to make sure he gets plenty more reps."

Adam Pompey and Rocco Berry retain their spots in the centres, with the only other change to last week's line-up seeing the return of captain Tohu Harris to lock and Dylan Walker relegated to the bench.

Warriors: 1-Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2-Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 3-Rocco Berry, 4-Adam Pompey, 5-Marcelo Montoya, 6-Te Maire Martin, 7-Shaun Johnson, 8-Addin Fonua-Blake, 9-Wayde Egan, 10-Jackson Ford, 11-Marata Niukore, 12-Mitch Barnett, 13-Tohu Harris

Interchange: 14-Chanel Harris-Tavita, 15-Dylan Walker, 16-Jazz Tevaga, 17-Kurt Capewell, 18-Tom Ale, 20-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 21-Taine Tuaupiki, 22-Freddy Lussick, 23-Jacob Laban

Join Newshub at 7:30pm Saturday for live updates of the Warriors v Storm NRL clash