June 16, 2024

Shaun Johnson, a halfback for the New Zealand Warriors, is cleared to play in Friday, March 8’s inaugural NRL game of 2024 versus Cronulla Sutherland at Go Media Stadium.

The playmaker, 33, sustained an ankle injury during a training session last week, necessitating the use of a moon boot.

Shaun Johnson grinds his way to recovery - NZ Herald

He has a moderate ankle, which was verified today.

The One New Zealand Warriors have been announced as finalists for the 61st ISPS Handa Halberg Awards’ Team of the Year category, following their remarkable comeback season.

They are listed with the Black Fern Sevens, the All Black Sevens, the All Blacks, and the women’s K4 500m world champion canoe racing team.

Halfback Shaun Johnson, who had an outstanding season, did not make it into the Sportsman of the Year finals, even though the One New Zealand Warriors made the team category.

Because only coaches who were born in New Zealand are eligible to win the Coach of the Year award, Andrew Webster was not eligible.

According to Cameron George, CEO of the New Zealand Warriors, the accolade enhanced the team’s incredible 2023 campaign.

Being honored with these outstanding teams is an honor, but more than anything, it’s a proper thank you to our supporters for helping this club make 2023 what it was—unquestionably a memorable year in New Zealand sports history.

The candidates for this year’s competition were chosen from 76 nominations submitted by national sports organizations and an independent nominations board for accomplishments in 2023. The panel of judges consisted of former elite athletes and coaches, sports administrators, and sports journalists.

On Wednesday, February 14, the winners will be revealed at the Halberg Awards banquet held at Spark Arena in Auckland.

Sport New Zealand’s Leadership Award and New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment will also be announced in the evening. The awards show will start at 8 p.m. on Sky Sport and be available for free on Sky Open.

After being second to last in 2022 and narrowly missing out on the wooden spoon, the One New Zealand Warriors accomplished one of the most incredible comebacks in sports history. Less than a year after their worst-ever season, they were one victory away from qualifying for the 2023 NRL grand final.

The Covid pandemic’s effects compelled the team to relocate to Australia for a period of three years.

When the Warriors hit their lowest point in 2022, the pain of being separated from their home, families, and supporters was evident.

Major adjustments were made for their 2023 homecoming season as a result, including the addition of several new players and Webster as a rookie head coach.

Despite the predictions of many commentators that the Warriors would finish last in 2023, Webster led an incredible comeback that inspired the nation and gave the squad an unparalleled level of fervor. The Warriors were, in fact, the most well-liked team in New Zealand in 2023 and the year’s feel-good tale.

Six home games were sold out, a record not broken since the team’s 1995 first year. Additionally, for the first time in the club’s existence, both the total number of home and away attendance exceeded 500,000.

The Warriors hadn’t finished and had only made it to the finals once, in 2018.

Although the streak ended there, it was one of the most dramatic and memorable seasons in New Zealand sport history.

Webster won Coach of the Year at the NRL’s annual Dally M Awards, while Johnson was leading candidate for Dally M Player of the Year going into the last round of voting, but lost by one vote. The Dally M Team of the Year included of Johnson, the Dally M Halfback of the Year, Addin Fonua-Blake, the Prop of the Year, and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, the Winger of the Year. Wayde Egan and Tohu Harris were two of the three finalists for Hooker of the Year and Captain of the Year, respectively.

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