SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 30: Shaun Johnson of the Sharks passes during the round 15 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Cronulla Sharks at ANZ Stadium on June 30, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

A potential halves pairing of Shaun Johnson and Matt Burton has Canterbury weighing up a move for the New Zealand international after the Sharks notified a trio of veterans that their services to the Shire would be coming to an end this year.

As reported by Fox Sports' James Hooper, the Bulldogs are the first of many expected club to be showing interest in Johnson, who will depart Cronulla ahead of the 2022 season.

NRL Rd 9 - Sharks v Panthers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Shaun Johnson of the Sharks looks to pass the ball during the round nine NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on July 11, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

The 30-year-old, along with teammates Josh Dugan and Aaron Woods, were reportedly told by the Sharks this week that they will not have their contracts extended past 2021.

Johnson had reportedly put forward a two-year, $1.2 million deal to remain with the Sharks, an offer the club declined.

Cronulla have planned to open up a significant amount of wiggle room in their salary cap as they plan to welcome Storm star Nicho Hynes and Dragons playmaker Cameron McInnes next year.

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The club will also ignite it's new era under incoming coach Craig Fitzgibbon, who is touted to set on a recruiting raid across the league ahead of his first season at the helm of an NRL club.

Now, with Johnson, Dugan and Woods not part of this new era, rival clubs are beginning to swarm on the former international representatives, namely Johnson.

The potential acquisition of Johnson would add to a sensational recruitment coup for rookie Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett, who is already set to welcome Burton, Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr and Penrith centre Brent Naden to Belmore in 2022.


  1. As a dogs fan I am both excited and nervous about this.. I’ve loved Watching Johnson play for years but since he’s gone to the sharks he has become so injury prone.. just hope they don’t offer him too much money because I’m sure he will spend a chunk of his time off injured!!

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