Warrior Shaun Johnson, right, looks to pass in the NRL match between the NZ Warriors and the Storm at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday, march 20, 2016. Photo: Fiona Goodall/photosport.nz

It was through playing touch that rugby league superstars Shaun Johnson and Benji Marshall picked up so many of their skills and this week a swag of hot-stepping touch players are on show at the Trusts Arena in Waitakere City – and it’s free to watch them, too.

WATCH SHAUN JOHNSON PLAYING TOUCH

The 2016 Open Trans-Tasman Test Series, which finishes on Sunday, opened this morning with the two top nations Australia and New Zealand seeking glory.

The series takes place annually in the open divisions (men’s, women’s and mixed) except in World Cup years. There are also youth and masters divisions held every second year.

This week invitation teams from Japan are competing against Australia and New Zealand leading into the three-day Test series.

SCHEDULE

Wednesday, April 27

10:00am | Open Women: NZ v Japan

11.15am | Open Men: NZ v Japan

12.30pm | Open Women: Australia v Japan

1.45pm | Open Men: Australia v Japan

Thursday, April 28

10:00am | Open Women: Australia v Japan

11.15am | Open Men: Australia v Japan

12.30pm | Open Women: NZ v Japan

1.45pm | Open Men: NZ v Japan

Friday, April 29

12.30pm | Japan Open Women v Invitational

1.45pm | Japan Open Men v Invitational

3.30pm | Mixed Open: NZ v Australia

4. 50pm | Women’s Open: NZ v Australia

6.10pm | Men’s Open: NZ v Australia

Saturday, April 30

10.00am | Japan Open Women vs Invitational

11.15am | Japan Open Men v Invitational

1.00pm | Mixed Open: NZ v Australia

2.15pm | Women’s Open: NZ v Australia

3.30pm | Men’s Open: NZ v Australia

Sunday, May 1

10.00am | Mixed Open: NZ v Australia

11.00am | Women’s Open: NZ v Australia

12.00pm | Men’s Open: NZ v Australia