Shaun Johnson has had to endure more speculation about his playing future.
Shaun Johnson has had to endure more speculation about his playing future.

Johnson opens up on fire-sale talk

SHAUN Johnson has refused to let his NRL move to Cronulla be derailed by speculation about him possibly being offloaded in a salary cap-enforced fire sale.

The Sharks are expected to learn their fate on Thursday after an integrity unit investigation into self-reported salary cap discrepancies.

Cronulla are expected to have their salary cap shaved this year, similar to the punishments given to the Wests Tigers and Manly.

The Sharks signed Johnson on a three-year deal worth a reported $3 million in December as a replacement for NFL aspirant Valentine Holmes.

It was reported that if Cronulla needed to offload players to be cap compliant, Johnson could be placed on the open market or be forced to sit out until the club had balanced its books.

The Sharks on Tuesday re-signed hooker James Segeyaro - a sign that they are not expecting to have to shed players - while prop Ava Seumanufagai has been linked with a move to the English Super League.

Shaun Johnson joined the Sharks in the off-season.
Shaun Johnson joined the Sharks in the off-season.

"I really didn't put anything into it because the key word there is speculation," Johnson said.

"That's all this whole thing has been.

"All I can do is focus on what I can control, and that's preparing for round one.

"I reached out to my manager and he said 'bro don't even, what's the point of working ourselves up?' And I was like 100 per cent.

"I don't know why it's about me."

In the meantime, ex-Warriors skipper Johnson has set his mind to the task of adjusting to life at a new club for the first time in his eight-year first-grade career.

He will wear the No.6 for the Sharks this year as well as assuming the kicking duties.

Shaun Johnson with fellow new Sharks signing Josh Morris.  Picture: Toby Zerna
Shaun Johnson with fellow new Sharks signing Josh Morris. Picture: Toby Zerna

While he had to deal with changes to his halves partner several times during his time in Auckland, he admitted learning a team's plays, getting to know his teammates and working up the confidence to call the shots had proved a learning curve.

 

"It was hard, it really was to call the plays," Johnson said.

"Being the half, they're looking at you to know what's what. "So when you're not quite sure about what you're calling, it can rub off on people.

"So I had to get on top of that pretty quick.

"Now it's 'whack, get that into you', if Chaddy is saying something and I'm relaying it, I know exactly what it is."

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