Shaun Johnson

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Shaun Johnson
Shaun Johnson 2013 (cropped).jpg
Johnson playing for the Warriors in 2013
Personal information
Born (1990-09-09) 9 September 1990 (age 24)
Auckland, New Zealand
Height 179 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 89 kg (14 st 0 lb)
Playing information
Position Halfback
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2011– NZ Warriors 91 38 151 5 467
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2012–15 New Zealand 14 8 51 0 134
2013 NRL All Stars 1 0 0 0 0
Source: [1]

Shaun Johnson (born September 9, 1990) is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer who currently plays for the New Zealand Warriors of the National Rugby League. A New Zealand international representative halfback, he has played his entire career to date with the Warriors.

Early years[edit]

Johnson's mother is Laotian and his father is a Pākehā (New Zealander of European origin).[2] 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.[3]

Playing career[edit]

Johnson played for the Hibiscus Coast Raiders in the Auckland Rugby League competition before being signed by the New Zealand Warriors in 2009.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] Johnson made his NSW Cup debut for the Auckland Vulcans in 2010 and also represented the Junior Kiwis that year.[7] 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 in Round 13 against the Sydney Roosters due to an injury to Brett Seymour.[8] In his next match in Round 14 against the Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium, Johnson scored his first NRL career try in the Warriors 26-22 loss.[9] In Round 22 against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, Johnson scored an outstanding 70 metre solo try in the Warriors 21-20 loss.[10] 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 beat the Storm 20-12 at AAMI Park, The Warriors making to the Grand Final to play the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.[11] 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.[12] Johnson finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing 16 matches and scoring 6 tries for the Warriors in the 2011 NRL season. Johnson was named in the New Zealand Kiwis squad for the 2011 Four Nations but withdrew with an injury.[13] On 27 November 2011, Johnson re-signed with the Warriors until the end of the 2014 season.[14] 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 in the Kiwis 20-12 loss.[15] Along with Konrad Hurrell and Manu Vatuvei, Johnson was the 2012 New Zealand Warriors season top try-scorer with 12 in 22 matches. Johnson also received the Rugby League International Federation's Rookie of the Year award for 2012.[16][17]


Johnson played in the 2013 All Stars match for the NRL All Stars team.

For the 2013 Anzac Test, Johnson was selected to play halfback for New Zealand, kicking two goals from two attempts in their 32-12 loss against Australia at Canberra Stadium.[18] In Round 14 against the Sydney Roosters, Johnson chased down Michael Jennings after the latter picked up a loose ball and sprinted toward an undefended try line, Warriors later won the match 23-12 at SFS.[19] Johnson played in all the Warriors 24 matches and scored 10 tries in the 2013 NRL season. Following the end of the season, Johnson was selected in New Zealand 2013 Rugby League World Cup squad.[20] 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 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.[21] Following the Kiwis 34-2 World Cup Final loss to Australia at Old Trafford,[22] Johnson finished the tournament as top highest points-scorer with 76 points (4t, 35g).


In February 2014, Johnson was selected in the Warriors inaugural 2014 Auckland Nines squad and was named the tournament's most valuable player after being the tournament’s top point scorer with 40 points.[23] Johnson was selected for New Zealand in the 2014 ANZAC Test against Australia at halfback and kicked 3 goals in the Kiwis 30-18 loss at SFS.[24] Johnson finished off the Warriors 2014 NRL season with him playing in 21 matches, scoring 9 tries, kicking 63 goals and kicking 1 field goal. On 9 September 2014, Johnson was selected for the New Zealand 2014 Four Nations train on squad.[25] On 7 October 2014, Johnson was selected in the New Zealand Kiwis final 24 man squad for the series.[26][27] On the 15th of November 2014, 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.[28] On 18 December 2014, Johnson won the Rugby League World Golden Boot Award for best player in the world, after beating the likes of Sam Burgess, Johnathan Thurston and Greg Inglis.[29]


On 16 January 2015, Johnson was named captain of the Warriors 2015 Auckland Nines squad.[30]


  1. ^ Shaun Johnson
  2. ^ "Emotional upbringing drives rookie Warriors star Shaun Johnson". The Sunday Mail. 2 October 2011.
  3. ^ Lawton, Aaron (22 March 2009). "Shaun Johnson to be a top player". Sunday News. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Shaun Johnson
  5. ^ "Johns backs future Kiwi star". 22 March 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Johnson, Shaun 2009 - 2010
  7. ^ Nine NYC-winning Warriors named in Jnr Kiwis, 6 October 2010
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  16. ^ "Awards". Rugby League International Federation. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
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