Former Kiwis teammate Benji Marshall has staunchly defended Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson amid requires the NRL veteran to retire on the finish of the season.
Johnson has one yr left on his present take care of the Warriors, who’re struggling in fifteenth on the NRL desk following six straight defeats and the axing of coach Nathan Brown.
Stream each sport of each spherical of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Reside & Advert-Break Free Throughout Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Strive 14-days free now
Marshall mentioned on Triple M the Warriors are wrongly utilizing Johnson at halfback, which doesn’t swimsuit his sport.
“Everybody has this opinion about Shaun and an expectation about the way in which he performs and I’ve spoken about it earlier than … he’s been taken to the Warriors to be a sport supervisor/put their facet in good area place and simply kick the footy, which has by no means been his energy,” Marshall mentioned.
“I really feel like his energy is his working sport and if I used to be them I’d transfer him to five-eighth.”
The NRL nice additionally had a crack at folks calling for Johnson to retire. The 31-year-old is taking part in in his twelfth NRL season and signed a two-year take care of the Warriors beginning this season.
“On the weekend I heard requires him to consider retiring — possibly he ought to take into consideration his legacy and provides it away. I say shut as much as that. As a result of that’s as much as Shaun,” Marshall mentioned.
“Nobody can perceive how onerous it’s been off the sphere for lots of the Warriors gamers (who relocated to Australia due to Covid), particularly Shaun not having his spouse and his children with him. I feel as soon as he finds peace with that and will get again to his household and he can reassess the place he’s at.
“That’s as much as him whether or not he needs to retire or not. I don’t suppose he has to go and say ‘Yep, I’m performed this season’. He’s not performed. If he needs it dangerous sufficient he can come again and do it.
“I really feel like a few of that criticism he cops, OK we perceive he’s not taking part in his finest or one of the best that we’ve seen from him however that doesn’t imply he wants to consider retiring.”
On speak the Warriors might drive Johnson out of his contract on the finish of this yr, Marshall mentioned that wouldn’t be truthful.
“That’s OK however I don’t suppose it’s truthful,” he mentioned. “And if they’re serious about that then possibly discover a method to assist the man and assist him carry out his finest as a result of they’re those who signed him.”
This story first appeared on the NZ Herald and was reproduced with permission