Johnson to suit up for Warriors in Saturday’s trial

Shaun Johnson will suit up in Vodafone Warriors colours for the first time in 1267 days when he runs out for the club’s second and final 2022 NRL trial against the Gold Coast Titans at Moreton Daily Stadium on Saturday.

The 31-year-old, the oldest player on the Warriors’ roster, last played for the club in their week one finals loss to Penrith on September 8, 2018, the eve of his 28th birthday.

After leaving the 206-game veteran out of last Saturday’s trial against the Melbourne Storm, head coach Nathan Brown confirmed Johnson will start in the no.7 jersey at the club’s adopted home ground for the 2022 campaign.

It will mark his first appearance in three years, five months and 18 days on day when he’ll line up in a side which includes just two survivors from his last season.

While Johnson’s comeback match is a key feature so, too, is Brown’s choice in the halves.

With Reece Walsh ruled out of the opening two rounds of the season, Chanel Harris-Tavita is again being used at fullback this weekend leaving him poised to wear the no.1 jersey in the round one clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

That left experienced new signing Ash Taylor and the seasoned Kodi Nikorima vying for the no.6 spot with Brown giving the nod to the latter.

While Johnson comes into the squad Josh Curran is also back from a head knock suffered in his appearance for the Indigenous All Stars against the Māori All Stars on February 12. Johnson and Curran are joined by first-choice hooker Wayde Egan, who is returning after offseason shoulder surgery, and second rower Jack Murchie.

In naming a 25-man squad Brown has selected the strongest squad available with Harris the only frontline player missing along with Walsh and prop Matt Lodge; Walsh and Lodge were both used against the Storm but are ineligible for selection in the opening round due to the suspensions they carry into the season.

In Lodge’s absence, Addin Fonua-Blake and Afoa both start at prop with hooker Egan, second rowers Euan Aitken and Eliesa Katoa and loose forward Curran rounding out the starting pack.

Three players without NRL experience are on the extended bench – contracted development prop Otukinekina Kepu, winger Junior Ratuva and train and trial fullback Jayden Corrigan.

Tickets: LINK


VODAFONE WARRIORS v GOLD COAST TITANS – Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe 2.00pm, Saturday, February 26


  3. Rocco BERRY
  4. Viliami VAILEA
  5. Marcelo MONTOYA
  6. Kodi NIKORIMA
  7. Shaun JOHNSON
  8. Addin FONUA-BLAKE
  9. Wayde EGAN
  10. Bunty AFOA
  11. Euan AITKEN
  12. Eliesa KATOA
  13. Josh CURRAN


  1. Jazz TEVAGA
  2. Otukinekina KEPU
  4. Aaron PENE
  5. Bayley SIRONEN
  6. Taniela OTUKOLO
  7. Ash TAYLOR
  8. Edward KOSI
  9. Jack MURCHIE
  10. Adam POMPEY
  11. Junior RATUVA
  12. Jayden CORRIGAN

Head coach: Nathan Brown



  1. Jayden Campbell
  2. Phillip Sami
  3. Brian Kelly
  4. Patrick Herbert
  5. Corey Thompson
  6. AJ Brimson
  7. Toby Sexton
  8. Moeaki Fotuaika
  9. Erin Clark
  10. Jaimin Jolliffe
  11. David Fifita
  12. Beau Fermor
  13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (c)


  1. Tanah Boyd
  2. Sam Lisone
  3. Jarrod Wallace
  4. Will Smith
  5. Herman Ese’ese
  6. Kevin Proctor
  7. Sam McIntyre
  8. Paul Turner
  9. Treymain Spry
  10. Greg Marzhew
  11. Esan Marsters

Head coach: Justin Holbrook