Shaun Johnson releases New Zealand Warriors, Cameron Munster, Dylan Napa



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Shaun Johnson has been a big story since the open season of NRL off-contract players began on November 1.

It came to a head today with Johnson releasing a current two-year contract to immediately pursue an Australian contract.

Superstar Kiwi takes to Instagram for the farewell of his fans.

"Thank you to the children and everyone involved with the Warriors for the past 8 years," Johnson wrote.

"I am truly grateful and will never forget how different my life is if it is not for all of you.

"I have nothing bad to say about anyone involved with the club, sometimes things don't work out and I know they will be sweet and bring things to the place we all want."

The Sharks immediately appear as favorites to pick up the playmaker, with space in their salary caps available after the departure of Valentine Holmes.

It was understood that the club's recruitment team met on Wednesday to discuss options and details of each potential offer.

Johnson's arrival will allow him to partner Chad Townsend in that section, while Matt Moylan will return to the back without Holmes. It will also make coach Shane Flanagan's son, Kyle, a step further than the regular NRL point in that section, although it's not clear how long Johnson will register.

Other clubs will have the potential to pursue him for 2020 if he signs a short-term contract, with Cronulla one of only a few clubs ready to accommodate him soon.

Nine News report Sharks will be looking to offer Johnson a three-year contract as soon as tomorrow.

There is speculation that Johnson can end up at the Roosters in 2020 with the ruling prime minister looking for replacement Cooper Cronk when the champion playmaker retires at the end of next year.

– with AAP

FOCUS ON SMITH AFTER THE MUNSTER SIGNATURE

Melbourne Storm and the eighth Queensland Cameron Griffin have ended speculation about his future at NRL with the signing back with Storm until the end of 2023.

Storm confirmed Munster, 24, had signed a new four-year contract on Wednesday, making announcements about the club's Twitter feed.

Munster has the potential to become one of the most coveted free competition agents when the previous contract expires at the end of next season.

Instead he has committed to living in Melbourne after reportedly fending off interest from competing clubs.

"To be honest, I will never leave," Munster told News Corp Australia.

"This is the first club that gave me the opportunity to play football so I knew I had to reply."

He said long-term rhetoric from coach Craig Bellamy, who had also been sought, influenced his decision to remain in Melbourne.

"He did a lot for me and a lot for this club and at least I can repay the good for what he did for me," Munster said.

Munster, who moved to Melbourne from Rockhampton in 2013, has made 89 appearances for the club.

Storm officials can now focus on negotiating with captain and prostitute Cameron Smith, who is looking for a new two-year contract.

– AAP

HARDMAN TO BRING CHANGE TO BULLDOGS

Former Sydney Roosters Dylan Napa has completed his move to Canterbury Bulldogs and said he wanted to correct some old bad habits.

After driving to Belmore for the first time and meeting his new teammate in Canterbury on Wednesday, the former Rooster enforcer made the honest confession he needed to improve his coping technique after two alarming incidents of this NRL season.

Recruiting the Bulldogs star was accused of having dangerous deficiencies in his defensive style and failed to protect opposition players after connecting with Brisbane couple chief Andrew McCullough and Korbin Sims.

Queensland's frontline rowers were stopped for three weeks – including the opening two matches of the Sydney Roosters final campaign – after a head collision with his team-mate, McCullough in round 24.

Only three months earlier he had been slammed by Broncos coach Wayne Bennett after breaking the Sims Corbin jaw in a similar incident where he shot out of the line, leading with his head.

The 26-year-old player was careful in holding back his typical aggression.

After all, Bulldogs coach Dean Pay in his first press conference 12 months ago said he wanted his team to play with "a little bit of madness".

And Napa can be a human being to bring to life the "Dog of War" mentality known to the club.

However, he admitted there was a problem with the technique he had to solve.

"I have several incidents," Napa said.

"I'm here to work on my game and hopefully become a leader among the groups. I am happy that I can be part of this group.

"I am sure I will do some work on my pre-season technique. I would not say it was completely wrong. "

Napa left Rooster, a team that emerged from the prime minister's victory and competed to become the first team to return since 1993, to a club widely targeted for 2019 wooden spoons.

The 26-year-old said the big factor in his decision to accept a three-year contract was lure more minutes.

Over the past few years, the time of the Napa game has continued to decline in roosters – from an average of 56 minutes in 2016 to only 41 in 2018.

The average per meter gauge is almost half of 120 m in 2016 to 70 m this year.

"I have a very good time and success in Roosters, but I think this is a place where I can grow as a football player and as a person," he said.

"I always thought that I could be in the Roosters for another year.

"But I'm a Bulldog now and I'm proud of it and I will do everything I can to get respect from this playing group."

AAP

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