AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 31: Shaun Johnson of the Warriors looks on during the round 25 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at Mt Smart Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

The Sydney Roosters seem to be the perfect club for Shaun Johnson to call his home if the halfback leaves the New Zealand Warriors at the end of next season.

Johnson still has one more year left on his contract with the Warriors, which will coincide with the potential retirement of superstar Cooper Cronk.

It’s no secret that the Roosters chairmen Nick Politis and coach Trent Robinson are big fans of Johnson as his unique abilities he brings to the halfback position.

It seems the only problem for Johnson is his inconsistency in his game.

The 28-year old can produce stellar performances on his given day and when he strings together three or four nine-out-of-ten games, he gets heavily talked up as a champion playmaker.

Although, stats show he isn’t producing enough of those performances throughout the season in the other 20 odd games.

For Johnson, the Roosters could be the perfect club for him the thrive under and produce those brilliant performances which single-handily destroy teams week in and week out, just like James Tedesco was able to do this year.

If Johnson made the move to the tri-colours, his combination with Luke Keary and James Tedesco would be considered as one of the games most lethal spines, with him working alongside a Clive Churchill winner in Keary and the Dally M Fullback for 2018 in Tedesco.

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Johnson will have the 2019 season to impress the Warriors to re-sign him, or for rival clubs such as the Roosters to make a player for the exciting halfback.


  1. Both Keary and Johnson are running 5/8’s and second receivers. Neither have a kicking game or the ability to organise attacking structures and both play their best in a reactive style without much emphasis on structure.

    I really can’t see how this halves combination could possibly be successful, therefore I hope the chooks are dumb enough to throw these two together and throw another $1 mill at yet another player like they have no salary cap.

    • Multiple credible people around the league such as Brad Fittler and Mal Meninga have labelled Keary an out and out halfback that has just been stuck behind lots of very good playmakers.

      Rooster halves 2020 Johnson 6, Keary 7.

      I see the NSW halves will be Keary 7, Cleary 6 in the future (with Scott Drinkwater taking it from him in 5 years.

      • Keary played at HB and first receiver for the Bears in NSW Cup with little success before being promoted to the Rabbitohs to play outside Reynolds.

        He has been FAR more impressive in a second receiver role running the ball than at HB organising play IMO.

        • To be fair he has matured a lot since then as a player Reg. Take the prelim and grand finals as examples. I am not necessarily saying he is better suited to 7, but using form from 2013 or thereabouts is not really the best guide for what his best position is now.

        • “he has matured a lot since then as a player”

          Well I should hope that he has. That was 5 years ago after all.

          The proof though is in the pudding eels47. If Keary had matured as a playmaker and organiser and he indeed did have these requisite skills to play HB then the Roosters would not have had to roll the dice and gamble on playing Cronk as a passenger to coach and lead the team around the field for Keary, don’t you think?

        • I never said he was a HB though did I? You used an example from 5 years ago to say why he isn’t a HB, I merely stated that his game has matured since then. He played a little of both in the GF, and was awarded the Clive Churchill for it. For the record I think he should stay at 6 and agree that is his best spot, but he is not the player he was playing NSW Cup, so I think the example doesn’t carry much weight.

        • Johnston has played half for 95% of his career and played numerous tests for his nation as a halfback, If the Roosters sign him he will be halfback.

          Once Robo gets to coach him he will put the final touches on him that is required. Playing to the Roosters structure but with his individual x factor brilliance as an option will only be an asset. Look how Tedesco has improved under Robo, he can orginise defences and pass the ball setting up plenty of tries now. Johnston will be at the Roosters simply brilliant.

          Reg Reagan if he comes to the Chooks he wont be coming for a million bucks, he will probably get 800k of the retiring Cronks money but at his age he will be coming to win a premiership. Something that will never happen at the Warriors with the stock they currently have on board. Some players a motivated by greed of the dollar others at certain points in players careers are motivated by good money but a premiership. Johnston has made his fortune, at the Roosters he still will be paid handsomely but less than other offers but coming to the most successful club in the 21st century to possibly win a premiership is what it is all about. Poor team mate Roger Tuivasa-Shreck won a premiership at the Roosters when he was 20. But he will never win another comp playing for the Warriors. His Glory Days are over. But he will be rich.💪😎👍💲🤑💰

        • Again… Ned, have you switched profiles? Because it sure feels like “Groundhog Day”… AGAIN! 🤪🙄

        • Oops! Woody chimed in straight after eels47, mighty.

          Woody, I’m surprised that SJ wouldn’t be prepared to sign for the chooks for just $200K, for the honour and privilege. 😂😂😂

        • That’s the plan but we will splash out and he will not refuse our lucrative offer of 500k plus a premiership ring😁

        • One ring to rule them all, hey? Hang onto your “precious” while you can mate. NO team have become back to back premiers since the 90’s, when Papa Smurf had a full head of hair and his Broncos had 3/4 of the Australian test team.

          Souths are coming for your chooks in 2019, over the cap or not. Hear that “tom tom, tom tom”? That’s Papa Smurf on his war drum calling his little Broncos chicks to roost in Redfern.

          Premiership glory is a short-lived thing champ. It’s like trying to hold onto water and like lightning it doesn’t strike twice in the same place in successive years! 😂😂😂

          “No trophy 🏆for you!”

    • Roosters needed Cronk on the field in the G/F to steer the team around even thou he was completely gone.Dont sound like they have much faith in Keary as a GENERAL and Johnson is not one to lead you around,top player on his day but way to 50/50

      • Cronks influence on his Roosters team mates was evident during the grand final and in the after celebrations straight after the grand final with All the players saying what a legend he his. Cronk has totally transformed the entire Roosters team with his professionalism and his vast experience and knowledge of Rugby League. His influencing character is even more powerful than that of Sony Bill Williams when he was a massive influence that help produce the 2013 premiership.

        Anyone who watched the grand Final would know if Cooper Cronk did not play, then the Roosters lose. He was involved with their organization up to his eye balls, he was involved in two of the Roosters three tries and in the 22nd minute when Slater was on the attack he rushed out of the defence and blocked Slater’s opportunity to pass with a two man overlap, saving a certain try and probable conversion. Cronk with no arm contributed more than people realise.

        Keary is a great running 5/8 that can play halfback pretty good. Johnston is a genuine halfback that has had a license to do what he likes like Cherry-Evens. Under Trent Robinson his education as a playmaker will only get better with the Roosters playing style.🎯🎯🎯🎯

    • Mate it won’t happen. Johnston will be heading to the Tigers in 2020. He’s been great under Maguire for the Kiwis so far, and especially if Brooks doesn’t have a season like 2018, I think Johnston may be preferred over him. Tha leaves the door open for the roosters to go after Brooks, who’ll undoubtably be keen to link up with his former roommate James Tedesco

      • So the Roosters played a one armed Cooper Cronk for their last one and a half games of the year to do what? Hand out water?

        “Think McFly! Think!”

        Keary took on the kicking responsibilities for the last 120 mins of the year but Cronk still controlled and managed the team.

        I joined the dots for you but you will have to do the colouring in yourself. 😉

    • Andrew Johns has also labelled Keary an out and out 7. Do you think you’re a better judge of halves than the immortal Andrew Johns?

      Also, your comment about the Roosters’ cap is stupid considering it would be a direct replacement from Cronk, meaning no change to the cap (or even saving money since he may be on less). That’s not to say they aren’t rorting it now, but you lose all validity when you try to imply it’s just another addition to the squad.

      And it’s laughable you spoke about Keary’s 2013 form before having NRL experience and then next comment acknowledged he would be improved.

      I’m not a Roosters fan either. I just think you’re whole approach to this is dumb.

    • Yep, cos look how badly it turned out for the Roosters the last time they “threw a million dollars” at a halfback…..what a stupid comment, typical JEALOUS rabbitoh supporter….how did that preliminary final go for you? ..that’s right- got your asses handed to you by a one armed million dollar Rooster halfback bahahaha

    • In this case, all else being equal, with Cronk retiring after 2019 there is no reason the Roosters can’t sign Johnson with that money. The key to that though is the “all else being equal” part.

  2. Love how this article makes not one mention about exactly HOW the Roosters can afford SJ. Simple answer- unless they release a Tedesco, Crichton or Cordener, they can’t.

    • “The Sydney Roosters seem to be the perfect club for Shaun Johnson to call his home if the halfback leaves the New Zealand Warriors at the end of next season.

      Johnson still has one more year left on his contract with the Warriors, which will coincide with the potential retirement of superstar Cooper Cronk.”

      There is your answer. End of next season, coinciding with end of Cronks contract.

      • Sooo that means Sydney can only sign players who immediatley replace players on identical or higher salaries? Pretty pisspoor for an NRL team.

        • Whats your problem Thaiday❓❔❓❔❓. If a player retires like Cronk on a million bucks then the Sydney Roosters have a million dollars to spend on whoever they please. I don’t understand what your upset about. If your import from Canberra Milford leaves the Broncos and your club wants to sign Maloney as a replacement for similar money, then whats the big issue❓❔❓❔❓

  3. I am confused that any club would want Johnson. Great individualist from time to time and great too watch but he is far too inconsistent. Just look at the Warriors this year, the main stars were Tuivasa-Sheck, Luke and Green, Johnson has moments of brilliance but they were rare. He just isn’t a halfback, he is what I would define as an inconsistent running five-eight. Plus look at the money he wants, 1 million for an inconsistent running five-eight, no thanks why not invest in a younger half back who can take you too the future. In the end I believe Roosters will pick someone else up and Johnson will re sign with the Warriors on a reduced more accurate contract based on his recent performances.

    • Yeah but You were the clown who said barrett was a good coach too so yeah nah man. NFI.
      All the crap and lies you come out with this year has embarrassed and sullied the name of our once great club and we dont need supporters like you making things worse.

      • “All the crap and lies you come out with this year has embarrassed and sullied the name of our once great club”

        WOW! so holmsey is responsible for the downfall of the Sea Eagles is he? How ridiculous. He is guilty of being very passionate and going over the top with his assessment of things at times, but how has he embarrassed the club by commenting on an online forum where there is a hell of a lot worse said than anything he has ever come up with?

        • No, that was uncalled for. But your comment was suggesting that he in some way has responsibility for the struggles at Manly. Like I said, he gets carried away at times, but in general there is little malice in what he says, but you saw the need to attack him at the very first opportunity on him returning.

        • “holmsey is responsible for the downfall of the Sea Eagles”

          I KNEW it! Was it the DCE article do you think eels47? The one where DCE admitted to not giving 100% despite being the highest paid player in the game?

          I’m only teasing holmsey. I’m sure Scott Penn and Trent Barrett need to shoulder a little more of the blame for the mess Manly are now trying to clean up. 😉

      • Thats a bit nasty Naveenisgod, holmsey is the most passionate supporter on this site, his loyalty to Manly is second to none besides what is wrong with Barrett’s coaching anyway, he seemed ok just didn’t have the cattle.

        • “Nasty” is what he said about james roberts and his family. You confuse passionate with rabid Penso. Stick to your whinging about roosters.

        • Penso!!!!!!!!! Wrong. I ‘m the most passionate supporter on this site. “And so is my wife”. Reg Reagan will back up my “Life of Brian” line there.

        • James Roberts is a dog that bashes women and hides behind his value as a footballer to justify his failings as a human being. He is a serial offender and has gotten away with this at least 3 times already.

          Like Matt Lodge, Roberts should not even be allowed to play a game that claims to value, respect and protect women!

          A player’s family however, should ALWAYS be OFF LIMITS, just as they should be for people posting on this site. Even though one in particular has referenced my family in an attack in the past despite always trying to claim “the moral high ground”.

        • Woody, you AREN’T the most passionate supporter. You’re “just a very naughty boy!” Who likes to play chicken with “killer rabbits”. 😂😂😂😂

        • Passion is all in the name AKA – “Pedro the Saint..”
          We all shoot our mouths off from time to time.

    • I’m just here to talk footy, not getting personal. To elaborate on the Roberts stuff it was a joke, taken too far maybe but a joke is a joke. On Barrett I still do believe he has a future in coaching just obviously not at Manly, did I praise him too highly of course I did but I’d like to see other coaches turn the manly mess of 2018 into a top 8 team. It’s just my nature to look on the side of positivity. Naveenisgod I’m happy to move on if you are but I will not continue to fight you, here to talk footy for 2019!

    • Pearce won’t come back, he decided he did not want to learn off the master halfback who has played in 8 grand finals. Instead he is happy up at Newcastle’s “transit lounge” They signed 13 players last off season and now they signed another 5 Tim Glasby (Melbourne Storm, 2021), Edrick Lee (Cronulla Sharks, 2021), Mason Lino (New Zealand Warriors, 2020), Jesse Ramien (Cronulla Sharks, 2020) and chasing more with Klemmer💰🤑💲🤑💰💲💰🤑

      • Early in the season, before Pearce got injured, he was actually showing “the master halfback” how to play IMO. Just saying Woody… If Cronk had missed most of the season and only came back for the last few games of the season I doubt you would be singing his praises either.

  4. First of all: Tedesco didn’t win Dally M Fullback in 2018. RTS did.
    If SJ with Keary and Tedesco makes the most lethal spine, how does SJ with Green and RTS not?

    As a Warriors fan I more than invite someone to take SJ from us. He is not a halfback and has never been one. He doesn’t manage a game. His kicking is woeful and when push comes to shove and you need him most, he’ll go missing and put in a limp performance. His key strength used to be running it but he barely does that anymore, I’d imagine due to his snapped ankle versus the Sea Eagles a few years back. He’s lost a tonne of pace too.

    He’s worth over a million on a day he plays well – the problem is he does that 1/5 games because he’s a glass cannon which needs mercury in retrograde and all the stars in alignment before succeeding with one of those one in a million plays he’s so admired for. Also, watch him snap a massive 5m every touch finder. Have fun with that Roosters.

    • The problem with Johnson I believe is that he has played the wrong position his whole career, when he should’ve been an five-eighth, a role where he could’ve roamed around, played second receiver and just always thought run. He’s had some pretty handy halves partners who played second fiddle to him, when really he should’ve played second fiddle to them. Maloney, Townsend, Leuluai, all could’ve been what Blake Green is to Johnson now. I remember Warriors tried it with Robson in 2015 and it didn’t work out too well, but Green did a heck of a job controlling everything this year. But if he did leave and go to the roosters, I believe he will take it to the next level, something we’ve all been waiting for. It’d be a shame for you warriors fans really.

  5. Johnson would be awesome with the Storm and particularly under Craig Bellamy. But this is a wildcard what about Johnson to Panthers. Ivan Cleary had coached Shaun at the very start of his career, plus with Nathan Cleary being the leader Johnson could play 6 and have a lot of fun. There’s already a few kiwis there (DWZ, Whare, Fisher-Harris, Tamou (birth), to name a few). Plus Merrin looks to be gone Maloney looks like he could be shown the door that would definitely free up the money.

  6. I heard the Johnson to Penrith thing from Mark Geyer’s show.
    I don’t think they really need him. If the keep Luia , he could be the perfect 5/8th for Cleary at half. Lightening quick & can set up plays as well, when needed.
    Add in May , who can play 5/8th , lock, centre. They look fine after Maloney.
    Then there’s Kieghren , who had a great half season at 5/8th in the ISP & young Coleman who played half in the ISP.

  7. I think Johnson is one of the most naturally gifted players I have seen but he just goes missing far too often. A change of club and coaching will be good for him and depending on where he goes with the right coach we could yet see him play to his full potential week in week out.

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