28 Jun 2018

Missing Kiwis test will serve Johnson well

2:49 pm on 28 June 2018

The Warriors playmaker Shaun Johnson says the value of him missing the Kiwis rugby league test in Denver will be borne out in the NRL when the Warriors host Cronulla.

Warriors management requested Johnson not play the controversial mid-season Test against England to help shake off some persistent injury niggles.

Johnson admits he was disappointed to miss out on the historic Test, particularly after watching the Kiwis lose but could understand his club's stance, which was reinforced when their three New Zealand representatives didn't arrive back until early Wednesday morning because of flight complications.

By the time the Test kicked off, Johnson had come to terms with his absence.

Shaun Johnson has made it clear he wants to stay with the Warriors.

Shaun Johnson has made it clear he wants to stay with the Warriors. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"It was all right. I was pretty comfy on the couch," he said.

"Any chance you get to represent your country, you want to take that. This time I wasn't able to ... and when you get a little break at this time of the year, you're going to make the most of it.

"The boys who did get the weekend off are coming back feeling good."

Coach Stephen Kearney was still to decide if any of his Kiwis trio will face the Sharks at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday.

Outside back strike weapons David Fusitu'a (ankle) and Solomone Kata (hamstring) were named to start but are in serious doubt.

Fusitu'a missed the 23-16 win over North Queensland two weeks ago while Kata limped off in the second half.

That victory in Townsville, the 10th for the fourth-placed Warriors, was highlighted by captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's brilliant solo try.

A tongue-in-cheek Johnson said fullback Tuivasa-Sheck had seemingly become energised since the arrival of his first child earlier this month.

"Roger seems to be coming to training really excited, like he wants to get out of the house maybe - like it's a bit crazy there," Johnson said.

"We're like his outlet."

Johnson described the seventh-placed Sharks as a team who are prepared to do the "dirty work" more than most.

Their forward power will be bolstered by the midweek signing of former Canterbury and Kangaroos prop Aaron Woods, improving Cronulla's chance of building on an excellent recent record in Auckland.