Dump Shaun Johnson and sign Nathan Cleary, urges former Warriors coach

Former Warriors coach Tony Kemp is urging the Auckland NRL side to ditch star halfback Shaun Johnson when his contract expires at the end of 2019.

Kemp, who coached the Warriors from 2004 to 2005, appeared on Radio Sport this morning, insisting that the club target Panthers youngster Nathan Cleary, who grew up in Auckland, as Johnson's replacement.

"I think it's time to start thinking about whether or not they are ever going to win a competition with the million dollar player in the number seven jersey," Kemp said.

"They are looking at winning a grand final. I'd be throwing $2m (a season) at someone like Nathan Cleary, a 20-year-old who has the goods to show up week in and week out."

Despite Johnson, 28, holding the title of the Warriors' all-time leading points scorer, Kemp insists that the club won't win an elusive maiden premiership with him at the helm.

"What really needs to happen in the off-season...most good coaches would ask will the No. 7 and No. 6 win us a competition?"

"I love Shaun to death, I think he's been great for the Warriors (but) he hasn't been an immortal like a Johnathan Thurston or a Cooper Cronk, a James Maloney.

"I'm not suggesting that (not resigning him). But I don't think they will."

Kemp was in charge of the Warriors for 37 games, sacked during the 2005 season.

Shaun Johnson passes. Penrith Panthers v Vodafone Warriors. NRL Rugby League. Penrith Stadium, Sydney, Australia. 6th July 2018. Copyright Photo: David Neilson /
Shaun Johnson. Source: Photosport

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