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Shaun Johnson gives tearful tribute to wife Kayla as he claims Sharks' top honours

Shaun Johnson shed tears during a tribute speech to his wife Kayla as he was honoured at the Sharks awards night on Thursday.

The Kiwis' halfback and former Warrior broke down upon accepting the the player of the year award with a teary tribute to wife Kayla Johnson (nee Cullen).

A star-athlete in her own right, Cullen abandoned her career with the Silver Ferns and the Northern Stars in the ANZ Premiership, when the couple relocated to Sydney in 2019.

Despite having 30 Test-caps to her name, Cullen decided to ply her trade in Australia's domestic tournament with the NSW Swifts as Johnson persued his career in the NRL, a decision he thanked her for in the emotional speech.

"She has sacrificed her whole career to come over here with me, and honestly I can never repay you, just for believing in me when I was copping it," Johnson said.

"For looking after me, for giving me the best gift in the world in our daughter and I promise you, whatever comes next for us, I will support you in everything we do," he added.

"I just can't thank you enough for doing this with me, riding this journey with me.