Shaun Johnson 'much better player' since departing Warriors, CEO says

Warriors CEO Cameron George believes the Shaun Johnson that will return to the club next season is a "much better player" than the one that departed for Cronulla in 2018.

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Cameron George said Johnson had improved as a footballer and was as passionate as ever about the Warriors. Source: 1 NEWS

The 30-year-old playmaker has been signed on a two-year deal from next season after being told he wouldn't be retained by the Sharks.

His return will see him resume his career with the Mount Smart Stadium club after making 162 appearances for the Warriors from 2011 to 2018.

"I think his game management is really, really strong and we saw that last week against the Cowboys. They got the outcome that they desired through his management and that's what we need and we look forward to having that within our squad," George told 1 NEWS this afternoon.

"He's certainly improved in the last couple of years, and people like Reece [Walsh] will benefit from his game management and his experience and guidance on the park.

"On the other side of the coin, the main thing I did notice was a passion to represent the Warriors was well and truly lit when I was talking to him and he has a huge passion to be back in Warriors colours."

Johnson owns the Warriors’ all-time record for most points (917) and also ranks among the club’s leading try scorers with 63.

Warriors star Shaun Johnson celebrates as his winning field goal goes over against the Raiders at GIO Stadium in Canberra. Source: Photosport

He will play in the halves, leaving Kodi Nikorima and Chanel Harris-Tavita to fight it out for the remaining starting spot.

"Shaun ticks a lot of boxes for us and it all worked out really well and really quickly so we're really excited about what he can bring to the club," George said.

"We've got real good quality depth now so that's good."

Johnson's return comes as a shock given the supposed breakdown in relationship between player and club during the latter stages of his first stint at the Warriors.

Johnson said then-coach Stephen Kearney "didn't like me" and was left frustrated by being left out of the loop when it came to playing rosters.

But George told 1 NEWS that was all in the past, and player and club were excited to be re-united.

Johnson’s signing follows the acquisition of his New Zealand teammate Dallin Watene-Zelezniak this week along with recent contract extensions for Josh Curran, Bunty Afoa, Jazz Tevaga, Adam Pompey and Rocco Berry along with the long-term signing of Queensland State of Origin rookie Reece Walsh plus Melbourne prop Aaron Pene.