League: Deadline set for Johnson

By David Skipwith

Shaun Johnson will have until Friday to prove his fitness ahead of Sunday's "homecoming" clash against the Newcastle Knights. Photo / Getty Images.
Shaun Johnson will have until Friday to prove his fitness ahead of Sunday's "homecoming" clash against the Newcastle Knights. Photo / Getty Images.

Warriors' halfback Shaun Johnson will have until Friday to prove his fitness ahead of Sunday's "homecoming" clash against the Newcastle Knights at Mt Smart Stadium.

The No7 hobbled from the field with an injured left ankle late in Saturday's 24-16 win over the Titans, and remains in doubt for this weekend.

Johnson's playmaking and organisational presence is vital to the Warriors as the club faces a potential injury crisis among the halves.

Back-up five-eighth Chad Townsend is already filling in for the injured Thomas Leuluai, while unproven Junior Warriors star Tuimoala Lolohea remains in line to replace Johnson in his first NRL start.

"Shaun is still 50-50. We'll give him until Thursday or Friday and, if he's not fit, Tuimoala will make his debut," said Warriors coach Andrew McFadden.

"The good thing is Tui has been training with us. Last week was good preparation because right up until the last minute he thought he was in the side to play Gold Coast."

Veteran prop Sam Rapira is on the interchange bench after missing the last three games with a back complaint, and utility Ben Henry has been ruled out after suffering stiffness in his left knee. Prop Suaia Matagi will start in the front row.

• Fullback Sam Tomkins will play despite being issued with a $100 fine by police and being hit with an additional $2000 fine from the club, after he was caught urinating in public early on Sunday morning in Broadbeach on the Gold Coast.

- NZ Herald

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