Shaun Johnson

Rugby League: Warriors treatment of Johnson 'harsh'

The Kiwi NRL club has advised long-serving playmaker Johnson to test his value on the open market, even though there's a year to run on his contract.

The timing and public nature of the Warriors announcement was criticised by Nikorima, coming midway through New Zealand's three-Test series in England.

He said his room mate Johnson was caught off guard, days out from Sunday's second Test in Liverpool.

Johnson to return for Manly clash

The 27-year-old has been stalled on 149 games since an ankle injury picked up in the 70th minute of the club's 26-4 win over Wests Tigers last month.

After scoring his 61st career try in the victory, Johnson was then forced to miss the last three outings against the Sydney Roosters, Parramatta and South Sydney.

With his seventh appearance this year, the club's record points-scorer (825 points) will become the 12th member of the Vodafone Warriors' 150-game club having made his debut against the Roosters in 2011 and his 100th against the same opposition in 2015.

Johnson ruled out for Warriors

With Johnson injuring his ankle in the win over the Tigers last weekend, Mason Lino will start in the No 7 jersey in the only change to the playing 17 named for the Indigenous Round battle at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Lino will make his fourth appearance of the season after previously filling the position against the Roosters, North Queensland and Melbourne.

Luke was forced off with a shoulder injury in the 55th minute in the 26-4 over the Tigers, while Blair left the field with an ankle complaint after returning from the bench for his second stint.

Luke, Johnson and Blair may be right for next week: Kearney

Issac Luke (shoulder), Shaun Johnson (ankle) and Adam Blair (ankle) all failed to see out the match but Kearney's post-match diagnosis will put a smile on the face of the Warriors faithful.

"Shaun will need to get scans tomorrow but I was pleased to see that he walked off the field," Kearney said. "We'll see how that pulls up.

"Bully [Luke] is in the sheds at the moment throwing his arm above his head so he seems OK but you just need to see how they pull up over the next few days. He has had that injury before. And Adam has just rolled an ankle so I think he'll be OK."

Warriors star Shaun Johnson out of Dragons clash

The third-placed Warriors announced Mason Lino would start at halfback, with Anthony Gelling to make his season debut for Solomone Kata.

The clash will lose some of its lustre because of Johnson's injury, with the words "blockbuster", "Dragons" and "Warriors" traditionally not belonging together.

The two clubs - or three if you include the four years of the Warriors' existence before St George and Illawarra merged - have made the finals just five times in the same season.

They have never met in a finals match.

Kiwis to play 'traditional' style: Johnson

Johnson endured a miserable back-end to the 2017 NRL season, injuring his knee and missing six games as his Warriors outfit missed the finals.

But with almost two months separating his last Warriors match and Saturday's clash with Toa Samoa, the star halfback said he felt like a new man.

A host of injuries and squad defections - most prominently Jason Taumalolo - had allowed coach David Kidwell to start afresh with combinations.

With Kieran Foran out injured, Johnson will likely start in the halves alongside in-form Cowboys young gun Te Maire Martin.

Johnson out for up to 8 weeks

Johnson limped off with a serious knee injury midway through the second half only to watch the Warriors concede three late tries in their 34-22 loss to the Panthers.

Initial diagnosis suggested the 26-year-old halfback may have suffered season-ending damage requiring surgery.

But team doctor John Mayhew says the injury isn't as serious as first feared and Johnson is expected to recover from the ruptured ligament in his left knee in six to eight weeks.

"This is a much better outcome than we had expected," said Mayhew.

Shaun Johnson re-signs with Warriors

Johnson, 26, has re-signed with the team trough to the end of the 2019 NRL season.

He said he was thrilled to settle his future with the club in what he regards as the most important contract of his career so far.

"This was a big contract for a lot of reasons and I'm excited to be able to lock it away and know I'll be here for another two years.

"My belief in this club is massive and my belief that we can do something special here is bigger than ever with everything we have in place," Johnson said.

Johnson expected to take on the Eels

The Warriors struggled for continuity without their star playmaker as they went down 15-11 in front of their home fans but should have him back after he was in essence rested for the opening pool game. 

Kidwell backs Johnson to lead Kiwis

Johnson, 26, is the team's undisputed playmaker but produced a disjointed display in their 26-6 loss to the Kangaroos in Perth.