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Will Johnson return to Warriors in 2025?

Shaun Johnson NZ Warriors rugby league
NZ Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson is unsigned past this season. PHOTO: NZ WARRIORS

Star halfback Shaun Johnson has given the biggest indication so far about his intentions for next season, while NZ Warriors coach Andrew Webster signalled his desire to re-sign the off-contract veteran.


Following training on Monday in Auckland, Johnson responded to a question about the club signing James Fisher-Harris on a four-year deal from 2025 by saying it’s “certainly something to celebrate and want to play on for”.



The 33-year-old, who was set to meet with his manager on Monday afternoon, said while he was yet to make a decision or receive an offer from the Warriors, he’s loving being part of the current playing group at Go Media Stadium.  


“Our roster is extremely talented and we have got a lot of depth, and what I love about it is we are enticing players, especially Kiwi-born players, to come back and want to represent the club,” Johnson said.


“So much goes into a decision about whether you play on, especially at the tender age [of 33].


“But I am certainly starting those conversations with the right people.”



It likely will not be long until that contract is in front of Johnson, though, if Webster has anything to do with it, with the second-year coach clear on his personal view about Johnson playing on in 2025.


“100 percent, would love to have Shaun around again,” Webster said. “I think he’s huge for our team, he’s important, love the way he is playing.


“But it’s only early in the season, we’ve got a good relationship, we’ll work it out when we can. I think the conversation is different [this year than last year] because of what he’s got behind him. We didn’t really know last year, he’d admit that himself.


“He’s got 12 months of amazing football under his belt [this time].”



The development comes as the former golden boot winner again sat out training on Monday, as he continues to manage Achilles pain which has kept him out of sessions for much of the past couple of weeks.


While not wanting to downplay Johnson’s bravery, Webster said he remains confident his No 7 will be OK to take the field against the Gold Coast Titans on Anzac Day in Auckland.


“It’s just very, very sore," Webster said. “Shaun has been incredibly tough and done a great job.


“He hasn’t trained much at all the last couple of weeks and he didn’t train today. He’s playing sore at the moment, and injured, and still doing a great job."


Webster also confirmed utility forward Dylan Walker is likely to be available for Anzac Day, following five weeks out with an ankle issue.

- NRL.com

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