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Peer recognition for three Warriors players

Three One New Zealand Warriors players have made the Rugby League Players’ Association’s Dream Team while two of the trio are among the five finalists for the prestigious Players’ Champion accolade.

On the back of picking up all three player crowns at the One New Zealand Warriors’ 2023 awards, the 33-year-old Shaun Johnson is at halfback in the Dream Team and is also a finalist for the Players’ Champion alongside teammate Addin Fonua-Blake.

The outstanding Fonua-Blake is also one of the props in the Dream Team while Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is one of the two wingers.

The Dream Team and the Players’ Champion are both voted on by the players providing the ultimate recognition of what Johnson, Fonua-Blake and Watene-Zelezniak have achieved in what has been a brilliant season for the One New Zealand Warriors.

Loose forward Tohu Harris, fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and hooker Wayde Egan would have garnered strong support from their peers as well.

The Warriors and the Broncos provide all five finalists for the Players’ Champion award with Johnson and Fonua-Blake joined by Brisbane’s Reece Walsh, Adam Reynolds and Payne Haas.

While the Warriors provide three players in the Dream Team, the Broncos have four, Penrith three, Melbourne two and Manly Warringah one.


Shaun Johnson:
Appearances: 24
Points 176 (6th)
Tries: 8
Line engaged: 156 (6th)
Tackle breaks: 39
Try assists: 29 (1st)
Line breaks: 10
Line break assists: 26 (7th)
Line break involvements: 18 (1st)
All receipts: 1523 (13th)
Kick metres: 12,496 (1st)
All kicks: 401 (1st)
Attacking kicks: 198 (1st)
Short dropouts: 25 (3rd)
Total runs: 229
Total metres: 1440
Tackles: 441
Tackle efficiency: 92%
Errors: 14

Addin Fonua-Blake:
Appearances: 25
Tries 9 (most by a front rower)
Total runs: 423 (4th)
Total metres: 4318 (3rd)
Post-contact metres: 1621 (1st)
Line engaged runs: 23
Try assists: 2
Line break assists: 2
Line breaks: 10
Tackle breaks: 72
Off loads: 35 (11th)
Tackles: 694
Tackle efficiency: 96 per cent
Missed tackles: 32
Errors: 9
Penalties: 6

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Appearances: 19
Tries: 22
Total runs: 289
Total metres: 2872
Post-contact metres: 2872
Line breaks: 24
Try assists: 4
Tackle breaks: 72
Kick return runs: 50
Kick return metres: 493
Restart runs: 46
Restart metres: 425
Off loads: 16

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.

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