Johnson happy to hand reins to Green
Fresh from eye surgery, Shaun Johnson says the Warriors have a clear vision of how they want to play this season – and he is happy to hand over the reins to his new halves partner.
The New Zealand Warriors will roll out all the big guns for their final trial match against the Gold Coast Titans on the Sunshine Coast this Saturday.
New recruits Adam Blair, Tohu Harris and five-eighth Blake Green have all been named to start.
It will be the first proper hit-out for Johnson and Green and the first time fans will get to watch the new spine in action.
The pair say they will look to ignite what was largely a lacklustre attack from the Kiwi club last season.
Speaking to media for the first time since he had an operation to remove a benign growth on his right eye in early February, Johnson said fans should expect a more "expansive style" of play this year and that his combination with Green was coming along nicely.
"There are elements of our game plan that I am really excited about, things that we want to implement and when you have a lot of new faces around it keeps things fresh," Johnson said.
"Blake and I have had pretty minimal time on the field together but I have got to know him off the field a bit and he's a good fella.
"He brings a lot of experience obviously so he has been really helpful not only to myself but to the other halves as well."
Johnson will take on a new role this season, happy to hand over the reins to Green and let the 31-year-old playmaker steer the ship, as coach Stephen Kearney looks to remodel the way his side attack.
"Blake will have full responsibility for getting us around the park, he has the reins," Johnson said.
"And that releases me to have my eyes up and pick my moments. I'm looking forward to it, it's a different role for me but something I can hopefully grab with both hands."
Green said his combination with Johnson and captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck had been developing well, but the real test would come on Saturday.
"We had a good session today and things are looking good. But it'll be nice to get out there against the Titans and get a bit of gauge of where we are really at," Green said.
"I can't wait to play with Shaun. The coaching staff have come up with a style that we think is going to best suit us as a team so we will find out Saturday exactly where we are with it all."
Johnson had a final check up on Wednesday with an eye specialist, but was nearing 100% fitness.