Johnson to make late call on playing his 200th NRL game
Warriors playmaker Shaun Johnson will make a last minute call on whether to travel to Sydney this weekend or stay home for the birth of his second child.
It's down to mother nature whether or not Shaun Johnson will play his 200th NRL match this weekend.
Johnson's wife Kayla is expecting their second child shortly with the Warriors to play the Parramatta Eels on Saturday.
Warriors coach Andrew Webster says the club will support Johnson whether he travels to Sydney to make his milestone match or not.
"He's keen to play if it works out. I don't think anybody is going to begrudge someone the birth of their child, so we are fully supportive on that one. We know what we're going to do if he doesn't come, so I'm just going to give him every chance. We'll work it out on Friday."
Johnson will make the call at the captain's run on Friday though Webster was keeping his cards close to his chest when asked about a potential replacement.
"I'm just going to leave that one private, we know what we're doing I just don't want to tell people yet. I want Parramatta to have to think about it."
Webster said Johnson's resurgence has been a key to the sides success this season.
"Shaun's a quality player. He's been one of our best, if not our best but we've got to plan for both scenarios. So we've got no excuses either way."
Johnson is the leading points scorer in Warriors history with 927, comfortably clear of his mentor Stacey Jones and sits just behind Jones and club leader Manu Vatuvai in tries scored.
He made his debut in 2011 and quickly established himself as a superstar of the game, punctuated by a stunning 70 metre solo try against the Broncos and guiding the side to a grand final appearance.
After a three year stint with the Cronulla Sharks where he struggled to find his form, he returned home and has been at his influential best.
Webster said Jones, who is assistant coach at the club, has been a major part of Johnson's performances.
"This year in particular, he has given him clarity around his kicking game, which has made life easier for Shaun, because it's simpler. A free Shaun is a good player."
With or without Joshnson, the Warriors will be desperate for a result this weekend.
They've slipped to eighth on the NRL table after their three match winning streak was halted by the Rabbitohs last Friday.
Webster said it is crucial the Warriors bounce back.
"You never want to lose back to back games, especially where we're sitting. Last week, we started well, then we fell off a cliff. We've just got to take the lessons out of it and go out there and action them this week."
He said his side needs to control their emotions come kick off, believing his players let the occasion of a sold out Mount Smart affect their performance in their 28-6 loss to South Sydney."
"We don't want to go overboard with the emotion and then not get the detail right. We we played with emotion on the weekend and we didn't get the detail and execution right, so we need to make sure we're not fizzing over boiling point."
Johnson will not be the only milestone man should he board the plane to Sydney with Dylan Walker, Addin Fonua-Blake and Wayde Egan also celebrating landmark games.
Walker is also due to play 200th NRL match, Fonua-Blake is chalking up his 150th and Egan playing his 100th NRL match.
"As a club it's really important to us that we honour it, we will celebrate it, but hopefully we celebrate it with two two points."
Dylan Walker said while it is a special occasion his family are probably more excited than he is.
"Rightfully so, they've been with me every step of the way. There's a few boys with milestones it's just not about me but first things first, we got to get a win."
Missing from the side again are suspended back rowers Marata Niukore and Josh Curran while standoff Te Maire Martin and middle forward Jazz Tevaga remain on the injured list.
The Warriors meet the Eels in Sydney on Saturday at 7.30pm.