|Johnson playing for the Warriors in 2013|
9 September 1990 |
Auckland, New Zealand
|Height||179 cm (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||92 kg (14 st 7 lb)|
|2013||NRL All Stars||1||0||0||0||0|
Shaun Johnson (born September 9, 1990) is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer for the New Zealand Warriors of the National Rugby League. A New Zealand international representative half back, he has played his entire career to date with the Warriors. NRL commentator Phil Gould has described him as the "New Benji Marshall".
Johnson's mother is Laotian and his father is a Pākehā (New Zealander of European origin). From Whangaparaoa, Johnson attended Orewa College and played many sports, including basketball and rugby union, but made his name playing touch and Australian rules football. He represented New Zealand in both touch and Australian rules football and played rugby union in his school's First XV. He played rugby league for the Hibiscus Coast Raiders from the age of four until signing for the Warriors.
Johnson played for the Hibiscus Coast Raiders in the Auckland Rugby League competition before being signed by the New Zealand Warriors in 2009. Johnson started his professional career playing for the Junior Warriors in the Toyota Cup. In March 2009, League great Andrew Johns commented: "I haven't been this excited about a player in a long time." Johns was referring to the first time he saw Stacey Jones play, which was in 1995, when Stacey was a junior. Johnson spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons with the Junior Warriors and played 45 matches, scoring 25 tries, 159 goals and 4 field goals to finish his Toyota Cup career with 422 points. Johnson made his NSW Cup debut for the Auckland Vulcans in 2010 and also represented the Junior Kiwis that year. His final Toyota Cup match was being part of the Junior Warriors winning the 2010 Grand Final.
After suffering an injury at in the pre-season, Johnson spent the start of the 2011 season with the Auckland Vulcans before making his National Rugby League debut on 4 June 2011 against the Sydney Roosters due to an injury to Brett Seymour. In the 2011 Preliminary Final against the Melbourne Storm, after his team played a flawless second half, Johnson set up a mesmerising try for Lewis Brown to seal the game in the 76th minute to play the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in the 2011 Grand Final. The Warriors lost to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24-10 in the 2011 NRL Grand Final however Johnson played a tremendous game and almost sparked a surprise upset comeback with a role in both tries and a few outstanding runs. Johnson was named in the New Zealand Kiwis squad for the 2011 Four Nations but withdrew with an injury. Johnson has re-signed with the Warriors until the end of the 2017 season. In addition to his playmaking abilities, Johnson is noted for his blistering pace which he uses to break through opposition lines and chase down attacking threats.
Due to Kieran Foran's hamstring injury, Johnson was selected as halfback for the New Zealand national team in the 2012 ANZAC Test. In his debut test match Johnson scored an 80 metre intercept try at Eden Park. Along with Konrad Hurrell and Manu Vatuvei, Johnson was the 2012 New Zealand Warriors season's top try-scorer with 12. He also received the Rugby League International Federation's Rookie of the Year award for 2012.
In July 2013, during a match vs the Sydney Roosters, Johnson chased down Michael Jennings after the latter picked up a loose ball and sprinted toward an undefended try line.
Following the 2013 NRL Season, Johnson was selected in New Zealand's Rugby League World Cup Squad. Johnson was selected for the Kiwis' first 2013 Rugby League World Cup game against Samoa playing at Halfback in the Kiwis' 42-24 win, kicking 5 goals from 8 attempts. The following week, he played in the Kiwis' 48-0 win over France, scoring 2 tries, kicking 8 goals from 8 attempts and was awarded man-of-the-match. He even played in the Kiwis' 56-10 win over Papua New Guinea of the Kiwis' Final Group B Pool Game, kicking 8 goals from 10 attempts, sealing 1st place for the Kiwis on the World Cup Group B leader-board. He featured in the Kiwis' Quarterfinals 40-4 win over Scotland, scoring a try and kicking 4 goals from 8 attempts. In the Rugby League World Cup Semi Finals on the 24th November against England at Wembley Stadium after the game was locked-up at 8-all at halftime and England in the lead 18-14, with seconds to go in the game Johnson scored the final try of the game in the 80th minute after stepping and sliding through a hole to level the score at 18-all and then converting his own try to seal the win and to cement the Kiwis' place in the World Cup final. Following the World Cup Final loss to Australia (2-34), Johnson finish the tournament as top (1st) highest points-scorer (with 76 points).
Johnson played for the Warriors in the 2014 Auckland Nines and was named the tournament's most valuable player. He played for New Zealand at halfback and kicked three goals in their loss to Australia in the 2014 ANZAC Test.
On 9 September 2014, Johnson was selected for the New Zealand 2014 Four Nations train on squad. On 7 October 2014, Johnson was selected in the New Zealand Kiwis final 24 man squad for the series.
On the 15th of November 2014 Shaun Johnson was instrumental in leading his fellow kiwi side to a 22-18 victory in the 2014 Four Nations final against Australia. Johnson received the man of the match award after his performance which included two assists and one try.
- Shaun Johnson thewarriors.com.au
- Lawton, Aaron (22 March 2009). "Shaun Johnson to be a top player". Sunday News. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- Great stepping by Shaun Johnson (Video) touch.school.nz, 17 February 2011
- Shaun Johnson warriors.co.nz
- "Johns backs future Kiwi star". Stuff.co.nz. 22 March 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- Johnson, Shaun 2009 - 2010 nzleague.co.nz
- Nine NYC-winning Warriors named in Jnr Kiwis NRL.com, 6 October 2010
- Cooper's multiple fractures force Bennett to rejig Dragons for Eels The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 June 2011
- "Awards". rlif.com. Rugby League International Federation. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- Warriors hold on to emerging star New Zealand Herald, 27 November 2011
- "Sonny Bill Williams absent from New Zealand's rugby league World Cup squad due to 'other commitments'". ABC News. ABC News. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- "Rugby League World Cup 2013: New Zealand 42-24 Samoa". BBC Sports. BBC Sports. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
- "Kiwis turn on style in eight-try RLWC win". Sports Fan. Sports Fan. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "Kearney delighted with NZ's RLWC win". SBS Australia. SBS Australia. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- "Rugby League World Cup 2013: New Zealand 40-4 Scotland". BBC Sports. BBC Sports. 15 November 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- "New Zealand star Shaun Johnson magic steals semi-final victory from England". Daily Telegraph News. Daily Telegraph. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.