Shaun Johnson named in Warriors side to face Newcastle

Shaun Johnson is set to start for the Warriors against Newcastle this weekend. Photo: Getty Images
Shaun Johnson is set to start for the Warriors against Newcastle this weekend. Photo: Getty Images
Shaun Johnson returns to the New Zealand Warriors side to face the Newcastle Knights this weekend, the side’s first NRL home final in 15 years.

The halfback has enjoyed a stellar year directing the Warriors around the park but was ruled out against the Penrith Panthers for Saturday’s finals match.

Tickets for the Warriors v Knights match went on sale to the general public at noon today and sold out after just 41 minutes.

Saturday’s match is make or break after the Warriors struggled to fire a shot against the Panthers in their return to finals football. Their weapons stayed in their holsters for the majority of the contest as the New Zealand side came under a barrage from the Penrith attack in a 32-6 loss.

If they had beaten the Panthers, the Warriors would have had a week’s rest but instead they face off against the Knights in their bid to keep their season alive.

Last week, the Warriors faithful voiced their concern as the NRL tossed up the idea of shifting the match to Eden Park – a move that made sense when looking through a financial lens but not so much when looking through the glasses of those who had made the trek to Penrose each weekend.

The venue is now decided, with the Warriors to play the Knights at their home ground in front of what will be a sellout crowd of 25,000.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George told Newstalk ZB’s Adam Cooper on Monday that pre-sale tickets were flying off the digital shelves.

“The phones have been non-stop, inquiries and the like, so just waiting on some numbers to come through from the NRL.”

George said the three seasons spent based in Australia made this coming weekend even more special for the club.

“Just being separated from our grassroots here in New Zealand over the last few years – to bounce back into this year is just a real highlight for our footy club, but not one we’re taking for granted.”

Warriors side v Newcastle Knights

Saturday, September 16 at Go Media Stadium

1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak

3 Rocco Berry

4 Adam Pompey

5 Marcelo Montoya

6 Te Maire Martin

7 Shaun Johnson

8 Addin Fonua-Blake

9 Wayde Egan

10 Mitchell Barnett

11 Jackson Ford

12 Marata Niukore

13 Tohu Harris (c)


14 Dylan Walker

15 Jazz Tevaga

16 Bayley Sironen

17 Josh Curran

Head coach

Andrew Webster