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Johnson signs on with Warriors to 2019

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/04/2017 Angelo Risso

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The thought of NRL Premiership glory for anyone other than the Warriors leaves Shaun Johnson feeling a tad hollow inside.

So the star halfback is staying put in Auckland - for now.

The 26-year-old playmaker committed to the Warriors through to 2019 on Friday, ending mounting speculation about his club future.

A native Aucklander and Warriors youth product, Johnson admitted there were plenty of NRL clubs across the ditch chasing his signature.

But, with just one finals series under his belt in six NRL campaigns, Johnson felt his story at the Warriors remained incomplete.

He'll remain for the next two years as new boss Stephen Kearney beds into the role and moulds the club in his image, before reassessing his options.

"Winning elsewhere doesn't sit right with me at the moment," Johnson said.

"I don't think it ever leant the way of leaving.

"The thought of winning here, that means the world to me and that's what I want to strive to do - I'm surrounded by people at this club who share the same passion for it."

Shaun Johnson © Getty Shaun Johnson Bursting onto the scene in the club's run to the 2011 grand final, Johnson has since made 133 appearances for the Warriors, scoring a record 717 points.

He has also made 20 appearances for the Kiwis.

After returning from a broken ankle suffered in late 2015, Johnson played all 24 matches in the Warriors' disappointing 2016 campaign, scoring 10 tries.

This year he has played all eight matches to date, scoring three tries, laying on five more and make 17 tackle breaks alongside Ata Hingano and, recently, Kieran Foran.

He admitted last year's 10th-place finish - and how to go about bettering it - was the source of much discussion during contract negotiations.

Whether that included the retention of five-eighth Foran, who will likely return to Sydney with the Bulldogs in 2018, was less clear.

"We were very honest with one another, we had a very open conversation and ultimately that's how we've come to this decision," Johnson said.

"We don't have long in this job, this career, (so) why drag it out as much as you can?

"You want to set goals, goals you can reach and believe in."

Kearney, for his part, said Johnson's contract extension was a key plank in the club's quest for a maiden NRL Premiership title.

The new boss, who has overseen a 3-5 record in 2017 so far, had laid out his roadmap to success to Johnson, as well as Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Simon Mannering.

"They're all privy to that sort of information," Kearney said.

"He's had to work through a few things himself, and wanted to see where the football club was heading, so it's really pleasing - so far, he's performed really well."

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