NRL star Shaun Johnson side-steps media after Warriors announce his release

Shaun Johnson side-stepped media today after the New Zealand Warriors announced earlier today he would be leaving the club a year before his contract expired.

The halfback was training at a gym in Auckland earlier today and decided not to speak to media who were waiting for him to comment on the sudden decision.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George said today at a press conference that Johnson is a free agent "effective immediately".

Johnson sat down with George, coach Stephen Kearney, Warriors recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan and his own manager Peter Brown in a meeting yesterday.  

"I saw evidence yesterday in our meeting of an individual who didn't want to represent this club in 2019 and asked accordingly," said George.

"Based on that, we're not jeopardising what we've got in place here."

A report has come out of Australia this afternoon suggesting Johnson is likely to sign a short-term deal with the Cronulla Sharks.

The relationship between the Warriors and the 28-year-old has deteriorated in the past month after George revealed last month that the Warriors were in "no rush" to re-sign him after his current deal, worth $1 million a season, expired in 2019.

George's comments came out while Johnson was away on international duty with the Kiwis in England, meaning the situation couldn't
be properly addressed until he returned to New Zealand.

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Cameron George said the club comes first, no matter the player. Source: 1 NEWS

Johnson finally broke his silence on the matter on Tuesday, taking to social media to vent his frustrations.

"Firstly there is no contract for me to sign past 2019," Johnson said in a statement on Facebook.

"Secondly if you saw the article that came out a few weeks back. In a round about way they said they are in no rush to re-sign me.

"Since then they have told me again at this stage they won't be offering me anything."

Johnson played 162 games for the Warriors after debuting in Round 13 against the Sydney Roosters in 2011.

He won the Golden Boot Award in 2014 after leading the Kiwis to a Four Nations title after defeating Australia in the final 22-18 in Wellington.

The Warriors announced today that Johnson has been released from the final year of his contract. Source: 1 NEWS

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