Warriors release Shaun Johnson effective immediately

The New Zealand Warriors have granted their superstar halfback Shaun Johnson an immediate release from the final year of his contract.

“Yesterday (head coach) Stephen Kearney, (recruitment manager) Peter O’Sullivan and I met with Shaun and his manager Peter Brown,” Warriors CEO Cameron George said on Wednesday.

“During the meeting Shaun clearly demonstrated to us that he didn’t want to be at the club in 2019.

“On the basis of what Shaun told us, we are not going to compromise our culture on and off the field with people who do not wish to represent our club, members and fans in the way we expect.

“Everything we do is about the club being first and what’s best for our future, our development and ultimately our results.

“While it’s disappointing it has come to this, we must acknowledge the contribution Shaun has made to the Vodafone Warriors. We’re proud of what he has achieved at the club and wish him the best for the future.”

Cronulla are the heavy favourite to secure Johnson’s signature but their rivals St George Illawarra are also a chance after it was reported Dragons skipper Gareth Widdop was homesick and wanted to return to England.

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