SJ officially released.
Johnson released by Warriors, effective immediately
The New Zealand Warriors have agreed to release Kiwis star Shaun Johnson from the remainder of his contract, effective immediately.
Johnson, the top point-scorer in Warriors club history, requested a release after being told he was free to negotiate with rival clubs before the club would offer him a contract extension for the 2020 season.
"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.
"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."
Young halfback Mason Lino has already left the Warriors for Newcastle this off-season, leaving the club without an obvious replacement for Johnson.
I’ve got a great idea that would mean we could get AJ as well; release The Chad to dragons to replace Widdop
Trindall back up half