Sharks recruit Shaun Johnson.

Shaun Johnson will take over goal-kicking duties from Chad Townsend at the Sharks and the deposed halfback is perfectly fine with that arrangement.

The pair were close in success rates during the 2018 Telstra Premiership season – Johnson 61 goals from 80 attempts for 76.2 per cent effectiveness, compared with Townsend's 62 from 84 for 73.8 per cent.

But now that the pair are reuniting at Cronulla for 2019 – they were halves partners at the Warriors in 2014-15 – Townsend is happy to hand over the kicking tee.

"Shaun will start with the goalkicking," Townsend told

That will begin when the Kiwis Test star runs out in Cronulla colours for the first time in Saturday's trial against the Knights at Maitland.

"I'll be back-up, and that's fine with me. I'm team first but if the coaching staff want me to come in and take a shot now and then, I'm totally fine with that."

The Knights match is the official Sharks debut of their new halves.

Townsend has had a few different halve partners in recent years.

Chad Townsend taking a shot at goal.
Chad Townsend taking a shot at goal. ©NRL Photos

He formed a great bond and won a premiership James Maloney at five-eighth before Matt Moylan, Trent Hodkinson and Kyle Flanagan (for one game) spent time next to him in 2018.

But Johnson is a familiar face.

"I'm excited. I've obviously played two seasons with him previously but then I was 22-or-23-years-old and I feel I'm a lot older and more mature now," Townsend said.

He has strengths different to mine but our games complement each other

Chad Townsend on partnering Shaun Johnson

"Personally for myself, I've come a long way. I've played nearly 10 finals matches and I've got that experience under my belt.

"My role won't change too much in terms of on-field processes but I'm sure looking forward to playing alongside him [Johnson] again."

Of the 41 games Townsend played with next to Johnson at the Warriors, they were all at No.6 jersey playing outside the New Zealand great.

The chairs have been swapped and it will be Johnson at five-eighth this time around.

"Nothing changes for me from the last three years I've played No.7 at the Sharks," Townsend said.

"Shaun has come in and will fit in with the way the coaches want him. He has strengths different to mine but our games complement each other. So Shaun won't have to change much either.

"I think we can form a very good combination."

That combination will be tested against another new pairing on Saturday night - Knights duo Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga.

"It's going to be good. It's a bit odd we play this weekend and then again in round one but I'm looking forward to it," Townsend said.

"There's been a lot of talk about them and the change up there at the Knights. You want to play against the best players and there's a lot of buzz about them.

"I'm also excited to face my old mate [former Sharks players] Jesse Ramien and Edrick Lee."