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SJ back to provide stable environment for Warriors

Four different halves combinations in four games is far from ideal but the return of champion No.7 Shaun Johnson offers a fresh start in the Warriors' search for stability.

After teaming with Kodi Nikorima at the scrumbase in the round one loss to the Dragons, Johnson missed the next two games with a pectoral injury but he's been given the all clear to face Brisbane on Saturday in Redcliffe.

In the 31-year-old's absence, coach Nathan Brown turned to Chanel Harris-Tavita and Ash Taylor in round two before Harris-Tavita and Nikorima steered the Warriors to victory over Wests Tigers last weekend.

"Shaun's experienced and knows his body and is professional around his rehab so it’s great for the team to have him back," Warriors assistant coach Stacey Jones said on Friday.

"He was disappointed after the first game that he couldn’t play the next couple and he's a key man in our attack so it's great to have him back.

Warriors v Broncos

"Our attack last week was pretty disappointing. We didn’t build enough pressure to get more points but Shaun will hopefully make things a lot better with his experience.

"Shaun has a strong voice and gets players around him into good positions. Sometimes he picks up little niggling injuries and that’s where we have to get better and not rely on him so much.

"What we learned in round one was that we had too much pressure on Shaun and other players need to step up and take the pressure off him."

One man who'll be charged with doing just that is Harris-Tavita, who has been given the chance to cement the No.6 jersey long term while Nikorima goes back to the bench.

"Kodi’s effort part of the game last week was really good so it’s important we give him the chance to stay in the team," Jones said.

"He did did some good stuff last week and he’s a Test player and he can cover key positions. He can cover for Wayde [Egan] at hooker or in the halves."

Egan, who has made a strong start to the season with two tries in three games and a mountain of defensive work, said Johnson's return will bring a calming voice to the Warriors' attack.

"It's massive for spine to have Shaun back," he said. "Last week we got a bit lost at times and didn’t get the halves enough ball.

Welcome back Johnson

"Shaun's organisation is great and he has the dominant voice to direct us around the park.

"Every game we have changed the halves so hopefully with some stability in spine we can take our game to the next level."

The Warriors will be without Bayley Sironen, who has tested positive to COVID, as well as young centre Rocco Berry who has battled a virus during the week.

"Rocco has been really crook and had no energy. When I young guy like Rocco can’t train all week it’s a big ask to expect him to play in an NRL game."

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