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NRL All Stars Coach Wayne Bennett has chosen electrifying Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson to play with some of the game’s most outstanding talents in the 2013 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars in Brisbane next week.

Johnson, 22, received the call-up from Bennett today to replace injured champion Storm halfback and ‘coach’s pick’ Cooper Cronk in the fourth annual clash at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday week (February 9).

Cronk withdrew today because of a back injury. He will continue on a modified program with the goal of being fit for the club’s World Club Challenge match on February 22 against Leeds Rhinos.

A stunned Johnson, who’s heading into just his third NRL campaign, becomes the third Warriors player involved in this year’s match with Feleti Mateo alongside him on the NRL All Stars bench and new signing Dane Nielsen on the bench for the Indigenous All Stars.

“It’s all a bit surreal for me at the moment,” said the 38-game halfback.

“(Coach) Matt (Elliott) called me to let me know. It’s exciting. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of playing alongside so many quality players and being in a side coached by Wayne Bennett. It’s a massive honour.”

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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