You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Warriors coach Andrew Webster said all signs point to Shaun Johnson being physically able to play on Saturday night, ahead of a call being made on his fitness on Friday.

On Thursday afternoon Webster said that provided the 33-year-old can get through parts of Friday's captain's run in Auckland, he will be on the field to play the Knights at Go Media Stadium.

"If we he ticks the boxes tomorrow then he's good to go," Webster said. 

He has just got to do parts of the captain's run. If he can't physically do it, he can't play. At this stage all the signs are that he will physically be able to do it.

Andrew Webster

"That's why we've gone this far and that's why we're confident he will play.

"The best preparation for him was not to train today and keep the two days in a row loading out of it, to get him ready for [Friday] and to play.

"He's on the better side of playing... we are confident he will play."

Webster confirmed Johnson first suffered the injury two and a half weeks ago in the lead up to the club's Round 27 clash with the Dolphins and was subsequently diagnosed with a calf tear. 

After pulling up sore ahead of Finals Week One, the 33-year-old withdrew from the squad and has been training away from the main group since.

He didn't take part in the team field session on Thursday morning, however the club said he had progressed well in various training scenarios this week which included training on his own on Wednesday, with Webster confirming he had got through that work "really well". 

While Webster opted not to share his plan should Johnson not be declared fit, it's likely Dylan Walker and Te Maire Martin would form a makeshift halves combination, as was the case in last week's loss to the Panthers.

On Tuesday reserve-grade halfback Ronald Volkman was left out of the 22-man squad and he will instead take on North Sydney in the NSW Cup finals on Saturday. 

Panthers v Warriors – Finals Week 1, 2023

"We're well prepared, we've trained without [Shaun], so we know what that looks like," Webster said. 

"The Plan B everyone is going to have to find out... it'll be something that the boys are familiar with this week at training.

"The boys have done the reps, done the practice, so we're confident." 

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

Principal Partner

Major Partners

Official Sponsors

View All Partners