Infotainment Factory: Johnson released by Warriors after tense meeting

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Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Johnson released by Warriors after tense meeting


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Jilted halfback Shaun Johnson has been released from the Warriors a year early, ending his dreams of being a one-club NRL player.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George confirmed the situation had become untenable after the 28-year-old asked for a release from the second season of a lucrative two-year contract.

"Yesterday Stephen Kearney [head coach], Peter O’Sullivan [recruitment manager] and I met with Shaun and his manager Peter Brown," 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."

George said the release was effective immediately and the club had already begun to consider its recruitment options for 2019.

The situation escalated this week when the 162-game veteran Johnson returned home from the Kiwis' tour of England, pronouncing unhappiness that the club he served since 2011 had made no offer for 2020 and beyond.

Cronulla and Parramatta are possible destinations for the 29-Test star while St George Illawarra can't be discounted after news emerged overnight the Dragons' English playmaker Gareth Widdop is seeking a release.

Johnson leaves as the Warriors' record point-scorer with 917 points from 162 appearances.

Jilted halfback Shaun Johnson has been released from the Warriors a year early, ending his dreams of being a one-club NRL player.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George confirmed the situation had become untenable after the 28-year-old asked for a release from the second season of a lucrative two-year contract.

"Yesterday Stephen Kearney [head coach], Peter O’Sullivan [recruitment manager] and I met with Shaun and his manager Peter Brown," 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."

George said the release was effective immediately and the club had already begun to consider its recruitment options for 2019.

The situation escalated this week when the 162-game veteran Johnson returned home from the Kiwis' tour of England, pronouncing unhappiness that the club he served since 2011 had made no offer for 2020 and beyond.

Cronulla and Parramatta are possible destinations for the 29-Test star while St George Illawarra can't be discounted after news emerged overnight the Dragons' English playmaker Gareth Widdop is seeking a release.

Johnson leaves as the Warriors' record point-scorer with 917 points from 162 appearances.

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